HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. We have no cure for it yet. Though there are medication to suppress it and keep it under control. The disease is contracted via sex, mostly, and if you're active in the bed, you should really get yourself checked for HIV.
Admittedly, there isn't enough of us that do it. Or at least, as frequent as we should. But now, thanks to an over the counter take home HIV test that was approved by the FDA, we could check ourselves in the comfort of our own homes.
The OraQuick HIV test is really nothing more than a simple mouth swab—just like the one taken by bone marrow donors—with results returned in as little as 20 minutes. It's not as reliable as professionally administered diagnostics, but the FDA is hopeful that OraQuick will set a new trend in prevention of the disease.
Based in Bethlehem, Pa., Orasure has marketed a version of OraQuick to doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners since 2004. When used by professionals, the test is shown to accurately identify both carriers and non-carriers 99 percent of the time.
But a trial conducted by the company showed the home test only correctly detected HIV in those carrying the virus 93 percent of the time. The FDA estimated the test would miss about 3,800 HIV-positive people per year, while correctly identifying 45,000, if approved for U.S. consumers. The test could prevent 4,000 new transmissions of the virus annually, though the figure could vary depending on how many people purchase the test.
The test is seen as a step in the right direction towards preventing transmission. In a recent survey of gay and bisexual men, it was reported that the ability to purchase a take-home test over the counter would motivate 84% of them to test themselves more frequently.