Posted: May 16, 2012 7:51 AM by NBC News (CC)
Updated: May 16, 2012 8:39 AM
An advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration met Tuesday to discuss the first over-the-counter H.I.V. test that consumers can use in the comfort of their own home.
Rapid HIV testing has been available in medical clinics for years.
Studies show the Oraquick In-home HIV mouth swab can correctly diagnose the illness in 93 percent of patients within 20 minutes.
There are some concerns people who learn they have the virus will not seek medical care, but supporters of the test said it will likely increase the number of people screened for the virus, which should lead to fewer people spreading the illness.
"This is an opportunity to push the envelope and see if we can make a dent in the number of newly infected individuals in the US," said Peter Leone, M.D. from the U.N.C. School of Medicine.
Experts predict there are more than 200-thousand Americans infected with HIV who don't know they have the virus.