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Updated: HIV home testing hits the market, with a disclaimer.. #HIV #AIDS

Updated: HIV home testing hits the market, with a disclaimer.. #HIV #AIDS

“A positive result with this test does not mean that an individual is definitely infected with HIV, but rather that additional testing should be done in a medical setting to confirm the test result,” the release read. “Similarly, a negative test result does not mean that an individual is definitely not infected with HIV, particularly when exposure may have been within the previous three months… ”

Via the FDA release on this news

So, ultra simply: a test result, positive or negative doesn’t necessarily mean jack.

Months ago, I sat on a week long focus group regarding HIV home testing along with some HIV/AIDS advocates and my stance on this subject hasn’t changed: it’s a great idea, but too flimsy to be publicly released as it’s playing with people’s lives, and the counseling component of it too weak. The Oraquick

(Disclaimer: my time on this focus group was compensated.)

Additionally, things are being missed and glossed over. From the Blade:

Clinical studies of the test showed a 92 percent sensitivity rate, which means that of every 12 HIV-infected individuals tested with this kit, one negative could be expected, which raised alarm among HIV/AIDS activists.

Yeah, that’d be a fact check fail, or just plain lousy word-smithing. What he means to say is that one test out of 12 is just going to be wrong. Dead wrong.

And then, there’s Joe “I never met a story I couldn’t poach/copy/paste in under a minute” Jervis, who’s demonstrated time and again that he really doesn’t know dick about HIV/AIDS, couldn’t care less about the subject, and when he’s found a story that’s really not a story – well dog gone it, he’ll just make it one just because. After the last time I called him out for his sloppy “reporting” he blocked me on Twitter, not that I ever read him, tweeted him, or retweeted him.  Apparently those that have sullied his reputation get consigned to oblivion.  Anyhoo, I digress: here’s his latest bit:

“Shortly after my first post on this product, I managed to corner an OraSure executive backstage at the NYC AIDS Walk, where I grilled him about the possible abuses of the product by parents and partners and about the potential for self-harm upon a positive result,” wrote AIDS activist and gay blogger Joe Jervis in a blog post on Tuesday. “He told me that the company had considered all of that and had the position that those hopefully rare occurrences were outweighed by the potential for getting many more people on the necessary treatments.”

Yeah, grilled.  I’m sure.

As to the content of his soundbite, anyone who actually cared about the damage this test has the potential to distribute wouldn’t have taken that answer and just walked away.

So, let’s review:

–Home HIV testing coming to a retailer near you.

–The results of that test conclusively prove absolutely nothing.  Negative results might not be negative, positive results might not be positive, and one in twelve is just going to be flat out wrong altogether.  So, your inconclusive results just might be wrong.  Your brain hurt yet?

–It’ll cost anywhere from 17 bucks on up.


Psssst.  Your healthcare provider has a test that gives you actual results you can bank on AND IT’S FREE!

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