Americans will soon be able to check their HIV status in the privacy of their own homes after the FDA recently approved OraQuick for over-the-counter sales. The test detects the presence of HIV antibodies using a mouth swab and returns a result in 20 to 40 minutes. The test-maker Orasure plans to begin selling the kit in October and it will be available online and through retailers such as Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. Prices haven’t been determined but will likely be around $60.
With testing becoming more accessible, the government officials hope to slow new infections, which number approximately 50,000 per year. According to studies and statistics about 240,000 people, or one-fifth of the roughly 1.2 million people carrying HIV in the U.S., don’t know they are infected with the virus associated with AIDS.