At home rapid HIV tests
As we recognise World Aids Day, and spend time mourning those we have lost and recognise it’s impact on those we love, we have perhaps reached an unexpected milestone in our journey with HIV. Treatments are giving more hope to those living with HIV, PrEP means it’s more preventable than ever, and as of this week, Newfoundland Diagnostics have made at-home HIV tests available across the country, in a somewhat unexpected place. Tesco.
These at-home rapid tests for HIV are available in Tesco supermarkets nationwide (and online), and use a finger prick test to provide 99% accurate results in just 15 minutes and this means that they are more accessible than ever.
The launch follows findings that for the first time in a decade, the number of new HIV diagnoses among heterosexuals is higher than for gay and bisexual men, according to new figures for England from the UK Health Security Agency. Half of all new HIV diagnoses were in heterosexuals (49%) in England in 2020, compared to 45% in gay and bisexual men.
But whilst this might mean our straight mates may be more likely to come into contact with HIV, it doesn’t mean we can let our guards down, and the accessibility of these new tests might encourage more people to test themselves.
Frederick Manduca, co-founder of Newfoundland Diagnostics, said:
“Today marks a pivotal moment in the fight against HIV. By making HIV tests easily accessible as part of routine shopping, our goal is to equip Brits with the necessary tools to identify and manage transmission risks while encouraging conversations around HIV by placing tests on our supermarket shelves.
“Our at-home rapid HIV test aims to increase awareness of HIV among vulnerable groups and help to eradicate stigma, all in the hopes of fostering a more informed society.”
As prevention and treatment for HIV is vital to the prevention of AIDS, education around HIV, and making treatments and tests more readily available for all at risk is key to the aim of World Aids Day. Reaching a point where HIV is no longer a threat lives worldwide.
Charlie Hoosen-Sykes for Canal St Media
Published: 2-Dec-2023: (7328)