NAT welcomes US decision on HIV home testing
The US Food and Drug Administration today announced approval of the first over-the-counter self-administered HIV testing kit for use in the United States*.
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), comments:
'NAT welcomes the lead taken by the US Food and Drug Administration in approving HIV test kits and we call on the UK Government also to legalise and regulate them. Home testing kits are currently unlawful in the UK but we know some people are already buying them online from overseas.
‘Over a quarter of people with HIV don't know they have it and half of people being diagnosed with HIV in the UK are diagnosed after the point at which they should have started treatment, with possibly serious consequences for their future health. Home testing kits, if properly used, can help increase testing and diagnoses of HIV.
‘It will be far better for the Government to legalise and ensure the quality of such kits and that proper information, advice and support are available alongside their use, than for people to access such unlicensed testing kits via the internet. We need to work out a way of integrating this new and exciting technology effectively and safely into our testing strategies so that people with HIV are diagnosed as early as possible and can live long and healthy lives'.
NAT has published a report 'Home Testing for HIV' in 2008 and called for regulation of home testing in the UK in our recent 'HIV Testing Action Plan' .
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Notes to the editor:
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NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
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www.lifewithHIV.org – a resource for HIV positive people
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