Over The Counter HIV Test Approved By The FDA

The FDA has approved a rapid at home HIV test.

OraSure Technologies Inc. of Bethlehem PA. has produced OraQuick for over-the-counter sales.

The hope is that the at-home test will reach the 20 percent of HIV infected people who do not know that they are infected.

Taking the test will not eliminate the need to follow up with further testing.

The test has the potential to identify large numbers of previously undiagnosed HIV infections. An estimated 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV infection. About one of every five don’t know they’re infected. About 50,000 new HIV infections are diagnosed every year.
percent accurate in correctly identifying positive results, a measure known as sensitivity, clinical trials showed. That means that one false negative test result could be expected out of every 12 tests.
It was also about 99.98 percent accurate at correctly identifying negative results, a measure known as specificity. That means one false positive would be expected out of every 5,000 test results in uninfected individuals.

OraSure expects the at-home HIV test to be available starting in October at more than 30,000 retail outlets across the U.S. and online.

One In Six Cancers Caused By Treatable Infections

A few treatable infections lead to over 2 million cancers a year.

Human papillomavirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori are the leading infections which can cause cancer as well as HIV.

Merck’s Gardasil vaccine is used to prevent the human papillomavirus ,which is responsible for cervical and some head and neck cancers, is available for both men and women.

The expectation is that eliminating the virus will help to end the cancers.

In terms of deaths, the study authors estimated that 1.5 million of the 7.5 million cancer deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008 – or about one in five – were related to infectious diseases.

How do researchers know if a cancer is caused by an infectious disease? Viruses such as HPV and Hepatitis B and C actually invade a person’s DNA and leave their signature in the genetic sequence. Helicobacter pylori does not, but the bacterium can be found in gastric tumors.

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