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First HIV self-test available

According to the manufacturer, the test should be 99 percent accurate three months after a suspected exposure. It cannot indicate HIV infections that were not so long ago because not enough antibodies are available for detection. In the event of a positive test result, users are instructed to contact an appropriate healthcare facility or specialist staff in order to have another test carried out there to confirm the findings and also to seek medical advice. The manufacturer emphasizes that a negative test result does not necessarily rule out an HIV infection - unless exposure in the three months prior to the test can be ruled out. Individuals involved in activities that involve increased exposure to HIV are advised to test themselves regularly.

The BioSure HIV Self-Test Kit is a single-use medical device. It is initially only available online via the special website www.hivselftest.co.uk and via the National Health Service (NHS) online shop “www.freedoms-shop.com” at a retail price of just under 30 pounds sterling including shipping within available from the UK.

The director of the National Aids Trust, Deborah Gold, told the British daily “The Guardian”: "It is currently very difficult to diagnose people with HIV in time. Over 40 percent of those infected with HIV are diagnosed too late and have at least four years beforehand lived with it. People diagnosed late are 11 times more likely to die in the first year of diagnosis. To address this public health threat, we need to break new ground, and self-testing is an important and welcome additional option. "