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BREAKING: FDA Approves OraQuick Rapid Home HIV-Testing Kit

The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the nation’s first over-the-counter and self-administered HIV test kit, has just received approval from the FDA.

OraQuick’s test, the first home kit that detects antibodies for both HIV-1 and HIV-2, enables users to get their results by swabbing their gums and placing the sample in a provided vial. The results are said to be ready in 20 to 40 minutes. While OraQuick will have a consumer-support hotline available 24/7, the company is quick to state that a positive result should be followed by additional testing in a clinic or doctor’s office.

“Knowing your status is an important factor in the effort to prevent the spread of HIV,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The availability of a home-use HIV test kit provides another option for individuals to get tested so that they can seek medical care, if appropriate.”

While OraQuick may shrink the number of HIV+ people who are unaware of their status (currently 20% of the infected population), it could also give a false sense of security to people exposed in the past three months, before the virus would register on a test. Additionally, clinical studies showed the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test has a 92% accuracy rating, meaning that on average one false negative result would be expected out of every 12 test taken by HIV+ individuals. (False positives are rarer, with one false positive expected out of every 5,000 test taken by HIV- people.)

Bottom line, OraQuick can be a helpful tool in the fight against AIDS but it shouldn’t replace safer sex and regular testing at facilities staffed by trained professionals.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jul 3, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 86 Comments
    • Bipolar Bear
      Bipolar Bear

      I don’t like the idea of these. If you’re going to get a positive test result, you should be in a professional counselling environment. Plus I can imagine guys using them before sex to check that it’s “safe” for them to bareback and giving themselves a false sense of security.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      I am glad this has become available. I emphatically do not want anybody else knowing my status before me, and I especially do not like having to talk to someone to find out my results. As a result of this aversion, I have tended to get tested less often than I would really prefer to. I understand the counseling objection raised above in the case of someone who may be ignorant, but I am well educated, I already know everything a counselor could possibly tell me, and I know better than even most doctors how and where to get help if I need it. With this test, I’ll feel more comfortable that I have complete control over my privacy.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • G
      G

      I think this will be beneficial.

      That it will allow people to test at home who are not comfortable testing in a clinic or are worried about stigmas attached to positive results.

      In fact, I think it could drive people to then be tested in a clinical setting to receive more definitive results and possibly counseling. And for those who don’t do regular testing and would not be likely to test at a clinic, they could discover their status and, if positive, take measures to protect future partners. Hopefully…

      Jul 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • "Counseling" should be voluntary
      "Counseling" should be voluntary

      People should have a right to know their health status without having pop-psych nannies trying to keep them in the dark until “counseling.”

      If someone wants it, sure they should be able to get it. But for those of us who are adults, we should be able to get quick and easy access to health information (as we have been able to for years in other countries).

      Jul 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      Love the way that all the HIV- on here keep babbling how they’re going to react if they test comes back positive. “For those of us who are adults”. Bitch, please, you don’t know, you haven’t been there, and you wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do if you tested positive on your own. “Oh, we should be able to get quick and easy access to health information”. For you to say this in light of the staggering rate of false negatives that this test provides just shows how little you understand about it, your “health information” or where some of the issues with the test begin. Do you even know what the fuck you’d do with it? “Oh, I’d go to my doctor”. Yep, have fun with that one. You’re so fucking scared of someone “knowing your status” that you think you’re gonna run off and tell your FP that you’ve been taking it in the pooper? Gimme a break.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveC
      SteveC

      I think this is great news.

      A counselling environment with trained professionals is a better place to receive a positive diagnosis, but this exists already. At present you can only be tested by your doctor or at a clinic.

      This test will reach other people as well.

      Anyone who buys this new test will have at least considered the possibility of a positive diagnosis.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roxorz
      Roxorz

      now I just wonder… How much?

      Jul 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      Welp, can’t see how this will hurt

      Jul 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @”Counseling” should be voluntary: “People should have a right to know their health status without having pop-psych nannies trying to keep them in the dark until “counseling.” If someone wants it, sure they should be able to get it. But for those of us who are adults, we should be able to get quick and easy access to health information (as we have been able to for years in other countries).”

      Very well said.

      Pop-psych has become the American way. No emotion is considered valid or safe unless it is experienced in public in the presence of someone who tells you what you are supposed to be thinking. At least now there is another option for those of us who didn’t grow up this way.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polyboy
      Polyboy

      I just hope these don’t become an excuse for bareback orgies.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Polyboy, that would be a bad idea given the window period. However, I very much doubt it will even be possible to read the ‘operating’ instructions without being informed that there is a window period and of what it means.

      However, I detect a note of moral disapproval. If there were an effective test for infectivity without a window period, I would see nothing wrong if people were to use it to have safe bareback orgies. However, that would not be this test.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SFMatt
      SFMatt

      This is NOT a good thing, if you become poz you want to be around counselors and people who can advise you about medications/treatment.

      Also I agree that people are going to use it and think that they are “neg” when in reality they are poz and there’s the half a year window period and they’ll think it’s fine to do it raw and bareback.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      This will cause more idiots who bareback into thinking that they are really “DDF UB2″.

      I’m not poz but I have a med card and I blaze all day everyday! Fuck yeah!

      Jul 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @Matt: Exactly. I’m reading on other sites that this thing misses like 8% of the positives it screens. Thats just a a recipe for disaster. What people need to understand is that an HIV test is not something that should be subject to regular consumer demands. Just because you want it doesn’t mean it is best for you, or society. HIV testing is a big deal, with big implications for personal and public health. Counseling is there to help ensure there is actually some value to the test. It doesn’t just calm down “pussies” (and if you think someone who freaks out after a positive result is a pussy, you probably need some perspective and realism in your life). It guides people into care, helps determine who needs to be contacted and how to contact them and provides on the spot damage control to people who might not behave the most rationally. Between its innacuraccy and the fact that it is divorced from other parts of the testing process that add value (like counseling), this test is about as worthwhile as a Magic 8 Ball.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roxorz
      Roxorz [Different person #1 using similar name]

      I look at this test like an at home pregnancy test for a teen. Yes it can’t guarantee 100% accuracy but for the average person it’s a good thing. Maybe for the guy who’s going out bbacking random guys every night this isn’t that effective but for the average gay man… assuming it is an affordable price it’s a positive. Don’t forget there are plenty of women who could benefit from this as well!

      Jul 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      a positive for whom? Certainly not the 8 percent who are going to ignore the symptoms of full blown AIDS because their test came back “clean”. Certainly not for anyone who tests positive, or anyone who is using it to test with a partner who may be positive. Not for the victims of anyone who reacts violently to their diagnosis. Is it a benefit to HIV- gay men who just want reassurance? Yeah, it does a great job of that. So great in fact that it seems to reassure a lot of people who aren’t even HIV-. I guess it comes down to a question of what all this testing is for though. If you just want something to calm your ass down, then, yes, this test is a win. If you want something to stop the spread of a potentially fatal disease, help people live healthier lives and make the world a better place, this test falls flat.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Olive Austin
      Olive Austin

      That blue plastic stand needs to be redesigned as a black leather holster so you can wear it while out on the town. By the time you get “him” home you’ll have the results ready to read. It could also have compartments for condoms and lube in case you’re going to his place.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      It is interesting how some people think they know just what is best for everybody else, and how vehemently they think so. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed in the FDA, and the approval is now a done deal.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mitch
      Mitch

      @Oh well: LMFAO, THE FDA SELL YOU DOG SHIT AND CALL IT A CURE FOR BALDNESS IF THEY WERE BRIBED ENOUGH.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Matt and Tom, if you really believe the majority of people who test negative through their GPs are counseled about window periods or anything else, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

      In my life history, I have tested negative through six different doctors, four of them in family practice, one in the ER, one a rheumatologist. Not one mentioned anything about the window period or provided any other information of any kind. (Not that I needed to hear anything from them since I already knew it, but they didn’t know that.) I once had to go to the ER to request PEP due to a safe-sex accident, and I had to tell them what I needed instead of the other way around. On the other hand, I have also tested myself with the mail-in home test available in pharmacies, which provided, as part of the instructions, more information on the window period and possible false negatives than any doctor ever did.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paulo
      Paulo

      Oh well-It’s not our fault you go to shitty doctors and hospitals, and that you’re into getting fucked raw and needed PEP. Any good doctor-especially one giving PEP or just an HIV test should mention the window period.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @Oh well: Who the hell goes to their doctor to get tested? I’ve been tested probably 25 times, and never once from a doctor.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      All these comments try to be so analytical and well reasoned and many on the bulletin boards and forums are against the idea. In reality this test will finally bring to a screaching halt a lot of the promiscuous anonymous hookups- at least will freak out all the positives out there who play the games of “of course I’m negative!”. All the lying poz escorts will now have clients asking to test and if not it will finally blow their cover. Same manhunt. Adam and others where miraculously 95% of the gay men in NYC seem to be negative!!! Now we can finally call their bluffs and begin to keep those who are negative that way

      Jul 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • R.A.
      R.A.

      Was that when you were a nelly queen on the DL Oh well like Brandon? see here: http://www.queerty.com/adele-had-her-heart-broken-by-a-bisexual-boyfriend-20120627/

      Jul 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      I have used home HIV test kits but they were the type where you give a blood sample, Fed ex it into a lab, and then after a few days you call in for your test results.

      I have also been tested by my doctor but I was a young adult and I just had it done when I had bloodwork done, and this was before there was the fast oral test. I was told not to get tested by your doctor if you think you will come out poz. I am not poz but I got tested anyway and have been doing this yearly since I became sexually active at 19.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      I am not sure if I will use these home HIV test kits since now I just go to free testing places for bisexual and gay men.

      I’ve heard that the saliva test is not as effective as a blood test, is this true?

      Jul 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bruce
      bruce

      HIV does not cause AIDS. This home kit is pointless. It’s going to lead to some of you seeking medications which will ultimately kill you. Don’t fall for it.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmy Billy Bob
      Jimmy Billy Bob

      The prick test (blood) is 15 minutes and 98.5% accurate.
      Just had it done last week.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @John: Oh yes, im sure that a lack of “disclosure” is what keeps the seroconversions rolling amongst the anonymous bareback crowd…idiot.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 1:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lifer
      Lifer

      Speaking of disclosure (& this may relate more to prior HIV posting & comments, but who cares), I read the NY Times article about the new kit being approved & it states that “Getting an infected person onto antiretroviral drugs lowers by as much as 96% the chance that he or she will transmit to someone else the virus.”.

      While 96% is indeed a nice number, 4% is not inconsequential & it’s certainly not zero. AND, the entire sentence hinges on the very important qualifier “AS MUCH AS”. So, contrary to what 2 or 3 posters were trying to berate the rest of the comments with, your viral loads are detectable in the best case scenario and very detectable in less than best case scenario, so disclosure to potential partners is a must.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 4:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      All right. so… SOME people think having a counselor ready in case your test is positive is a good thing. Great. Then THOSE people can go get such a test and avoid this. Why is that a reason not to offer it to those who prefer to find out themselves first and then come to terms with the news in their own mind first before discussing it with anybody at all? Especially those who are, because of that preference, less likely to get tested on a regular basis so long as they’re required to involve other people?

      As for the false negatives… more information would be helpful. Do people who are positive test negative because the test is flat-out inaccurate, or because they either don’t have enough of whatever in their bodies to trigger it yet? If it’s the former, taking the test twice would make a negative 99.4% accurate… and if the latter, taking it every few months would still catch the infection on the next go-round; not perfect, but still pretty good, especially considering you need to take precautions with sex *anyway* because of the window, which exists no matter what testing method you use.

      (And yes, I know people aren’t going to take the test twice at once. But if it’s a matter of simple accuracy, they *could,* and it would make sense to recommend that.)

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      I love the way people here say “I have no problem with doing a test myself. I dont need counselling. Over the counter tests should be available”.
      Did it occur to you that there are other people who might not have your ressources (for the sake of argument we accept your statements about how you would deal cooly with a poz result at face value… Im not convinced but lets just go along with it…)?
      What about a 19yo with not much education? Should he have counselling? Will he talk to his doctor or just do a home test which is less trouble and embarrassing??

      You people are egocentric like hell… Disgusting trait really…

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trent
      Trent

      I feel that access to information is never a bad thing. I freak out and tend to get tested every 4 months just to be sure. I always use protection; but you never know. I personally would rather have a doctor or someone do the test. However; I am not everyone. Just because the test is not for me; does not mean that it can’t benefit someone else. I do not see what all the hate is about.

      Also until we see the cost of the test it is a mute point. If it is 100 bucks a pop, I am assuming most will go for the free testings or doctor visits.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 8:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DeGuyz in Mississippi
      DeGuyz in Mississippi

      If it saves a life then that’s great. The infections that arise from low t-cells can be the real killers and do the most damage. I hope this will stop someone from falling victim to the damages that can happen simply by not knowing and getting access to treatment. Getting the numbers under control is paramount. I didn’t get tested in time and I have to live with that. But at the end of the day, everything’s cool and I have no regrets. Remember, Chicken pox virus stays in your body forever and re emerges as shingles with a low enough T cell count. Happy 4th !

      Jul 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Da Twinkz, y'all!
      Da Twinkz, y'all!

      I think these are great. I’ve always preferred bareback sex, but often have to use condoms because the guy I’m going to have sex with looks a little shifty (I use condoms mostly when I’m bottoming). With these, some of that morning-after “oopsy” anxiety will be gone, since I’ll just ask the guy to take one of these before we hook up. These will definitely help non-condom sex in the gay community be freer and less anxiety-ish.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Martin: Please answer this question: how is it “egocentric as hell” to believe more options are better than fewer options, and to recognize that people are different? Why should those who prefer working through potential bad news (and everybody’s dealt with bad news now and then, even if not this one very specific example) on their own have “counseling” shoved in their faces immediately rather than having the option of going in for that if and when they want not be allowed that?

      Nobody’s bothered giving an answer to that from your side. And there’s no excuse for acting like an impatient parent who answers “why not this way” with “because I said so” or “fine, do it your way and I’ll laugh when you fail.” (There’s no valid excuse even for parents to act that way.) If you can give a coherent, logical reason, then just do it. Vague, dark hinting or patronizingly treating those on the other side like children isn’t good enough.

      Which doesn’t mean people like @Da Twinkz, y’all!: aren’t idiots. But there have always been plenty of idiots in the world, and they’ll do idiotic things regardless.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Da Twinkz, y'all!
      Da Twinkz, y'all!

      @Hyhybt: What’s with the unnecessary personal attacks? I haven’t insulted you, please don’t insult me.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe37
      Scribe37

      @Da Twinkz, y’all!: You have to be a troll

      Jul 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Da Twinkz, y'all!
      Da Twinkz, y'all!

      @Scribe37: OK seriously, what’s going on with the insults? I’m not a “troll,” I’m simply laying out one of the advantages of these tests. Are you seriously me telling me that when you bareback you don’t feel a tiny bit of anxiety the day after? (If you don’t, good for you; I guess I’m a little more skittish than you). These tests will help eliminate that anxiety, and that’s a good thing for the gay community. We already have to deal with the stigmatization of gay sex by society, so it’s really bad for our mental health when on top of that stigma there is the anxiety related to a possible health issue.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe37
      Scribe37

      I don’t understand why people have issues with this. When I go to the doctor and use my insurance and get tested it takes two weeks to get the results. If I use the rapid test, and pay 35 bucks, I walk out of the office with the results. Either test would give me a false negative if I was out behaving stupid the night before. Testing negative isn’t permission to go out barebacking, that is just stupid! Testing negative is reason to keep using rubbers and keep making good choices! I have never done the free clinic thing. The idea of sitting and discussing what I do sexually and my risk isn’t something I want to do. Sometimes just for piece of mind I want to get tested between the two times a year i hit the doctor and I think it is where I would use this test. If the price was under 50 bucks.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Da Twinkz, y'all!
      Da Twinkz, y'all!

      @Scribe37: I’m not talking about testing yourself the day after to see if you got infected (that’d be dumb!), I’m talking about testing your partner *before* you have sex so you can bareback in safety.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe37
      Scribe37

      @Da Twinkz, y’all!: I don’t bareback! Ever! Any gay male that has any brain cells doesn’t either! You must be a troll from NOM or trying to prove some stupid point. The story clearly states the time window where HIV might still test negative. High number of sex partners, unprotected sex = HIV. We both know that. Just like the idiot trolling above stating HIV does not cause AIDS knows he is full of crap.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Da Twinkz, y'all!
      Da Twinkz, y'all!

      @Scribe37: Apparently you’re unable to discuss this issue without resorting to insults. And *I’m* the one without brain cells?

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Da Twinkz, y’all!: How does testing tell you it’s safe to bareback when new infections don’t show up for months? Just please, answer the question directly and cogently, with no deflections, obfuscations, or feigned indignance please.

      @Scribe37: I wouldn’t quite go that far, either. If you’ve been in a monogamous relationship for quite a while, and you’re both negative, at some point you should be able to risk trusting each other not to cheat.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Da Twinkz, y'all!
      Da Twinkz, y'all!

      @Hyhybt: Maybe, but at least it eliminates outright people who have been infected for months, which means a reduced likelihood of infection. If you’re going to bareback anyway, this makes it safer.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Da Twinkz, y’all!: That “if” there is the problem. If you don’t mind being asked, why is your decision-making on this “I’m going to do this anyway so let’s make it slightly less dangerous” rather than “is this really a good idea in the first place?”

      Not that the test wouldn’t be helpful, to the extent it reduces unprotected sex with people who have been infected long enough to show up more than it increases such sex with newly-infected people; to that extent, I believe we agree.

      But it’s still like saying “if we’re going to ride in the bed of a pickup at 80 mph anyway, let’s sit under the rollbar.”

      Jul 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Da Twinkz, y'all!
      Da Twinkz, y'all!

      @Hyhybt: I *am* going to bareback either way. I’m not going to spend my life in fear and denying myself pleasures just because I’m so fucking terrified. Sorry, that’s just not me. For me, sex without a condom feels better, it’s more intimate, it’s what gay sex should be. So yeah, I’m gonna ride on the bed of that pickup, and I’ll enjoy every minute of it. For me, that’s called living.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Da Twinkz, y’all!: I sincerely hope your luck holds. Please, though, remember that’s what you’re relying on.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @Lifer: yes, the operative term being “getting onto therapy”, not “getting onto an EFFECTIVE therapy”. The issue is the impact of the meds on viral loads, and it usually takes some time after treatment is started. THat “96%” figure is skewed from someone who was infected days after their partner started therapy, taken from an American study called HTPN052 which didn’t examine viral load, only cd4 as it relates to infectiousness. Leave it to the americans to find the most worthless thing to study to make it all sound worse…

      Jul 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @Lifer: (sigh) discrimination disguised as “prevention”. You’re someone with a political axe to grind, who missappropriated a quote in an article, which itself was written by someone who didn’t really understand the nuances of the study that was being looked at. Much like with antibiotics, antiretrovirals do not immediately render you noninfectious. They have to work, first, and the first thing we throw at the virus doesn’t always work for everyone. People who are undetectable are still probably not infectious, and unquestionably less infectious than the average gay man who thinks he is “negative”, rendering this who disclosure debate moot.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @Martin: Ditto. Further, I wonder how many of them actually would have any fucking idea how to react if they tested positive. We love to talk about “19 year old kids” as ideal types who are confused by these tests, but most people don’t know what to do. The ignorance and stupidity displayed by people on this site leads me to believe that most Queerty commenters probably need the counseling AT LEAST AS MUCH as some 19 year old kid.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @Hyhybt: Like i said: when you introduce a test like this, where the result means a veryserious threat to your life or quality of life you need to consider how it affect different kinds of people, not just yourself. If you only think of yourself and give a damn about others its egocentric.

      This test is easier and more convenient than making an appointment with a doctor. Besides a lot of people would like to keep this sort of thing private. There are in effect incentive to use such a test, which means it will be used, and likely by a very diverse group.
      Some people are vulnerable, like young people, or not well educated in medical matters like false positive rate and predictive value of a negative test, like most people. So there is ample room for misinterpretation or unnecessary anxiety or false feeling of security.

      These are the same arguments that put most drugs on prescription. Some could probably use farmaceutical drugs correct with little guidance, but many would use them wrong or for mistaken reasons.

      Some here say information is always good. There is plenty of information I dont need to hear and there is lots of information where how it is given will make a big difference as to the reaction it illicits…

      So please think of everyone here, not just yourselves.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      “The ignorance and stupidity displayed by people on this site leads me to believe that most Queerty commenters probably need the counseling AT LEAST AS MUCH as some 19 year old kid.”

      –I may have misunderstood what you all have been meaning by counseling. But then, if you simply mean telling someone what the test means and what actions to take depending on the result, a piece of paper covers that nicely for anyone who can read. And perhaps I’m ignorant, in which case, please teach: what is there, exactly and concretely, that’s so important to have a person there for? And what is there to know that’s so urgent it has to be talked about RIGHT NOW? You test positive, you right away stop having unprotected sex (if you were doing that). Perhaps after taking some time to get used to the idea, you go to a doctor and find out about treatments… look into ways of paying for them if you don’t have insurance that covers it, etc. (Actually, that last is in itself a reason to have over-the-counter tests. It’s not on your record, and therefore can’t stop you from getting insurance… though of course changes in the law are in the process of making that moot.)

      @Martin:Let me try this again. I AM NOT just thinking of myself. I’m not even interested in getting this particular test for myself, at least not for the foreseeable future. But there are a lot of people who, *like* me, would prefer to find out this sort of thing by themselves, with nobody else involved. Such people are less likely to get tested AT ALL if they cannot do it themselves… or to put it off until they’re actually sick. How is it selfish for me to want those people to test themselves? How can you assert, apparently blindly, that the threat you still haven’t specified from finding out without someone right there to hold your hand is greater than the danger of people deciding not to get tested, either because it’s too much trouble or they feel uncomfortable involving other people?

      No, it’s not like prescription medication. TAKING THIS TEST WILL NOT HURT YOU. Taking the wrong medicine or dosage will.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Sorry, a clarification: “Perhaps after taking some time to get used to the idea, you go to a doctor…” means you perhaps take a few days or weeks to sort out your mind first. I did not at all mean, as it sounds re-reading it, that getting treatment should be a “perhaps.”

      Jul 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Oh, just *one* more thing, and I apologize for making three comments in a row…. some very minor and, so far as I can see, inconsequential tweaking would make every argument against this test, and especially it’s being available over the counter, apply to home pregnancy kits too. So, do you believe those should be yanked from the market as well, and if not, what difference (other than the difference between a disease and a pregnancy) do you see between them?

      Jul 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @Hyhybt: Only excessively stupid people would think to compare the often joyfilled experience of pregnancy (even if not you can get abortion) to aquiring a disease which might end up killing you slowly as you wither away, suffering exotic tumours, have fungal infections in the lungs and your brain eaten slowly by protozoa.
      Some people might be frightened at this prospect which was a certainty up to about 15 years ago. They might even kill themselves. So maybe a talk with someone who has real knowledge and updated information is good, at least for some people. There is plenty of possibilities for harm in this test.

      If you want a high predictive value of a negative test you get a low predictive value of a positive test and worry a lot of healthy people. You cant get both. And in this case you want a negative result to have a high predictive value because otherwise the sick dont get help. These things are not really so simple… And lots of people wont understand them

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_predictive_value#section_2

      Jul 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Martin, you are the one who wants to keep this test unavailable to people like me because you think you know better than me what I need, and yet you call us the selfish ones?

      Jul 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drew
      Drew

      Da Twinkz-You’re an idiot and you probably already are HIV+ and you’ve infected others.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      There is no harm whatsoever to the test itself. And therefore no reason to prohibit those who believe it’s the best way for them to find out their status to be able to do so. Again, no nonsense about “selfishness” when this is about thousands of people.

      I never said that pregnancy and HIV were the same. I explicitly stated the exact opposite. Nonetheless, the danger you purport this test to have is largely in people reacting with strong emotion. That’s vastly different than the possible results of taking the wrong dose of the wrong drug, and very *like* a pregnancy test, even if the specific emotions involved are (usually) different. In both cases, though, the reason someone would take the test that way in the first place is that they want the result of such an important and potentially emotional (either way) to be private; theirs alone to deal with until they are ready to involve others. In that manner, they are beyond similar enough to justify at least a comparison.

      Thank you for (finally) coming out and naming suicide. If that’s your worry, you should have said so from the beginning rather than hinting about, but we’re here now. How likely is it that someone is going to kill themselves the instant they find out one test shows a positive result? How likely is it that the person who does so would NOT kill themselves when they got a chance if they’d been forced to listen to cliches from a counselor first?

      Jul 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      For many unmarried teenage girls, a positive pregnancy test could in fact be of worse negative emotional impact.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @Oh well: Its not all about you, dont you get it?

      @Hyhybt: You are just plain stupid and not really worth my time. Your “reasoning” is infantile and incoherent. You bable about pregnancy tests. It doesnt matter if a vulnerable or uneducated individual draws totally wrong conclusions on the basis a false positive test and kills himself, because he might have done it anyway?? Wow clear “thinking”.
      You think the results are clearcut and valid always. But they are not. They express a probability and the rate of false positives will be high… Which you conveniently overlook.

      From what I heard a poz diagnosis as an emotional event of the first magnitude. Then all reasoning ceases, and feeling takes control. Thats why its good to have a cool head close by.

      Be stubborn and stupid if want I simply dont care

      Jul 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @Oh well: Wow you know that for a fact or just babbling off nonsense you think sounds good??
      Pregnancy HIV/AIDS? Pregnancy HIV/AIDS…? I think most girls would choose pregnancy. And then there are happy pregnancies too you know

      Jul 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Martin: I’m “ignoring” the inaccurate results because that’s already covered and there’s nothing more to say about it. Beyond that… does it not matter, if there is a possibility that something may help some people and harm others, how many of each there are and to what degree?

      There are people who will take this test who would not otherwise get tested until it’s too late. Do you really dispute that? *How many* is unknown and, probably, unknowable.

      There will be people who kill themselves after getting a bad result. How many? Nobody knows that either. Probably very few, but of course any is too many… except that that’s an invalid approach when there are negative consequences to BOTH options. The relevant question anyway is how many would do that after taking this test who would not do the same after getting tested in a different manner. I don’t see any reason to believe there would be much difference; you seem to think there is, yet at the same time dismiss even the idea of considering how much that difference would be. Why? Especially, both why do you dismiss the question and what, specifically, do they do after a more official type test that’s so amazingly wonderful that it stops people from wanting to end their lives?

      “Cool heads close by” in itself is meaningless, because there’s nothing forcing a person to remain close to them. Unless you’re going to tell me they don’t allow people who test positive to say “no, really, I’m OK” and then go home and do whatever they want anyway.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Maria
      Maria

      Oh well-You’re not a teenage girl or a woman at all. Granted both a positive pregnancy test as a teenage girl, and a pos HIV test are life changing and affect a girl negatively but I’d much rather learn that I’m pregnant than learn that I’m HIV+.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      Maria, I am not saying an unplanned pregnancy is as bad as HIV. Obviously not. But I doubt you speak for the average pregnant teenager either. No less a woman than Oprah herself attempted suicide after learning she was pregnant at fourteen.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Hyhybt: SPEAKING OF IGNORANCE, pre-existing conditions are scheduled to go out the window for ratings and denial of coverage in the next few years. Your scenario about what happens when someone tests positive is marbeled with ignorance, and is exactly what the OP was talking about.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Hyhybt: Ignorant point #2, how exactly will you “look into paying for treatment options”? Do you think there’s a fucking manuel for this? I’ve got news for you if you think its as straightforward (or as final) as logging onto the internet and seeing which of the three options thebody.com advertises best fits your needs.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Hyhybt: IGNORANT POINT 3: “You test positive, you right away stop having unprotected sex”. Probably not best that we assume everyone acts in the best interests of society after finding out they’ve just become a leper. If that’s how you want to believe people will choose to act though, have fun in your denial.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Hyhybt: IGNORANT POINT 4: “Perhaps after taking some time to get used to the idea, you go to a doctor and find out about treatments”. If you progress at a normal stage and are testing regularly, yeah, that might not kill you. Since early treatment is generally understood to correllate with better outcomes, you might also be paying a pretty huge price while you “get used to the idea”.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Hyhybt: IGNORANT POINT 5: “if you simply mean telling someone what the test means and what actions to take depending on the result, a piece of paper covers that nicely for anyone who can read” Perhaps you’ve never experienced a tragedy before, but your first result isn’t always to sit down and pour over a fold out packet explaining what to do in an emergency.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Hyhybt: IGNORANT POINT 6: “And what is there to know that’s so urgent it has to be talked about RIGHT NOW?” Ohhh, I dunno, maybe “who did you sleep with?” It’s always good to try to stop the further spread of the disease, even if that means having to talk before you’ve “gotten used to the idea”.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      Quoting the CEO of the company who makes the test, there will be a “toll-free call center to provide counseling and medical referrals to test users. Each of the call-center operators is bilingual in English and Spanish, they’ve gone through 160 hours of training on HIV counseling and testing, so they are highly trained professionals and they’ll be there to support the consumer.”

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      Quoting someone who probably knows a little more about the problem than any of us here, given that it is his life’s work to fight HIV: “Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the longtime AIDS researcher and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the new test a “positive step forward” and one that could help bring the 30-year-old epidemic under control.”

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Hyhybt: IGNORANT POINT 7: “It’s not on your record, and therefore can’t stop you from getting insurance”…I’m sorry, but this one is so dumb I had to come back to it. Like i said, pre-existing conditions aren’t really a concern for health insurance, or won’t be shortly. As for life insurance…you do realize good policies usually ask for a blood test, right? Telling people that there is some “insurance danger” to testing positive makes them think they will benefit from not testing. The reality is just not true.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Oh well: LMFAO, if you think Anthony Fauci knows more about the problem than us, you’re sorely mistaken. The man has been wrong about HIV so many times that its starting to be awkward. Let me tell you a little something about Antony Fauci: If he says something, assume the opposite. Like any bureaucrat, Fauci is interested in justifying his job, so every discovery made under his watch, every single thing that is approved, is going to “turn the tide”. Not a year goes by that Fauci doesn’t promise that we’ll find a vaccine, a cure or a magic pill that will fix this. If he were ever correct, there’d be nothing to devote his life to. As for the “toll free call center”, don’t make me fucking laugh. 160 hours? Most customer service reps at major banks and utilities get more training than that.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      There currently still is insurance danger in testing positive non-anonymously, and this may continue to be a peril indefinitely if Republicans succeed in their promises to repeal Obamacare.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Tony, it would still be an improvement on the “counseling” the vast majority of Americans who get tested through their GPs get from their doctor’s office, where you’re lucky to get a nurse on the line to tell you your results.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Oh well: (sigh) Point number 8: regardless of whether the republicans overturn obamacare or not, what the fuck good is accomplished by telling people this? If you’re right, they keep their insurance but die of AIDS. If you’re wrong…they keep their insurance but die of AIDS. Telling people to avoid the test because the republicans MIGHT get in power and MIGHT make a bunch of stupid laws only gaurantees disaster.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Oh well: OMG, you don’t know the first thing about testing, do you?
      1) All these horror stories you’re hearing about “nurse on the line telling me im poz” are before HIPAA, an act that has been in place since 1996.
      2) This isn’t the experience of “the vast majority”. Even in the bad old days, most people recall having a better experience with “counseling”.
      3) “GP”? WTF? Do you know anything about the medical system? In the US, A GP is a physician who hasn’t finished his residency or let his board certification lapse. It is only in other countries that the term is even utililized to describe a qualified physician. For DECADES, board certification has been the norm. If you’re seeing a “GP”, you’re seeing a doctor who dropped out of his training. These are few and far between, and rarely work as the primary care provider. MOST doctors that you see are “FPs”, family practictioners, or internists.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Tony, it is patronizing and immoral to withhold information from people because you want to engineer their behavior in a way you consider beneficial to them. People should have all the information so that they can make an informed choice. For example, withe the current laws (not future Obamacare) there are ways to get insurance and be covered but only if you know what to do, for example by waiting a certain number of months after buying the insurance to be officially diagnosed. To do that, you have to be able to keep your status a secret in the meantime. I think this is a terrible solution, but it is what we are forced to in the crappy system Americans love to call the best healthcare in the world.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Tony, I did not grow up in America but I live here. I use GP in the sense of PCP (which is really an insurance term that I don’t like) – mine is actually an internist. My results have been negative and have always been delivered by a nurse on the phone when I called them, with no counseling. A couple of times nobody even called me, and I didn’t find out the result until I asked them on my next appointment many months later (this happened with more than one doctor). Of the various doctors I have had, nobody ever said anything to prepare me for a possible positive result. I think I have had the same treatment from enough doctors to be able to strongly suspect that this is pretty much standard. maybe you go to an HIV clinic where they have special training. Good for you then, if that’s what you like, but the cast majority of Americans don’t do it that way.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Tony, I think this is enough. Hyhybt and I have been civilized and measured in our responses to you. We have not implied that you are a stupid idiot, as you have basically been calling us. But if you have no idea of how to appropriately communicate with people, why should anybody pay attention to your thoughts on counseling, which is, after all, about communication?

      Jul 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Tony: I realize you like going out of your way to make as many opportunities to call people ignorant as possible (and have as many posts as possible rather than saying it all out at once, even to the extent that you repeat a point reworded with a new number) but perhaps you’ll still answer…

      “pre-existing conditions are scheduled to go out the window for ratings and denial of coverage in the next few years.
      –Indeed they are. Given the fact that I mentioned this, and the fact that *right now* it hasn’t happened yet, how is repeating those things I already said back at me demonstrating my ignorance?

      “how exactly will you “look into paying for treatment options”?”
      –Of course I’m a bit ignorant on that. I hope to remain so, because it’s something I only hear about secondhand and I’ve never had any need of such treatment. But if I ever turn up with HIV, I *will* find out more information. I believe I would start, before even going to the doctor, by seeing what Google turns up, but that’s a beginning, not an end. Asking at the appointment what other patients do, ask people I know who are on such medications how they manage seem like logical next steps. But regardless, none of that is even REMOTELY relevant unless and until you explain how using the specific test in question would make it more difficult.

      “Probably not best that we assume everyone acts in the best interests of society after finding out they’ve just become a leper. If that’s how you want to believe people will choose to act though, have fun in your denial.”
      —Downright bizarre that you’d treat that statement as if I were saying everyone does the same thing. I was clearly saying what steps someone with half a brain *ought* to take, not what everyone necessarily would do. And, again, your complaint has nothing to do with this specific test. How, in any way that matters, is this aspect different than continuing to have unprotected sex after getting tested at a clinic or doctor’s office?

      “If you progress at a normal stage and are testing regularly, yeah, that might not kill you. Since early treatment is generally understood to correllate with better outcomes, you might also be paying a pretty huge price while you “get used to the idea”.”
      —and if you get tested in some other manner, you’re somehow more ready to deal with things? How, precisely? That there’s someone there *telling* you doesn’t mean you’re yet ready to listen, much less act. And I’m talking days, maybe a week, not months. If it’s progressing that quickly then you probably don’t have a chance anyway.

      “Perhaps you’ve never experienced a tragedy before, but your first result isn’t always to sit down and pour over a fold out packet explaining what to do in an emergency.”
      —Well, first off, it’s not an emergency by any usage of the word that doesn’t water it down to uselessness. It’s simply very bad news. I’ve never been diagnosed with a horrifying illness,º but I’ve dealt with both personal tragedies and emergencies, and know how I handle them. Most people have, at some point. As it happens, I handle both pretty well… but when it’s the former (say, the sudden death of an apparently-healthy family member) that stupid conversation where someone’s trying to break the news gently where you can tell where they’re headed if they’ll just get there is an added pain, not a help, and I don’t want to hear, at least right away, all the things everybody tells a person who’s just lost someone. Other than handling the most urgent of arrangements, let me let it sink in first; at least a couple hours. THEN we can talk, and I’ll be glad for the commiseration. And a lot of people are like that. That others may not be changes nothing and is no excuse for denying those who are from dealing with things in the way that works for them.

      “Ohhh, I dunno, maybe “who did you sleep with?” It’s always good to try to stop the further spread of the disease, even if that means having to talk before you’ve “gotten used to the idea”.”
      —Now that’s a fair point. Still, though, I’d file that as analogous to the “most urgent of arrangements” in case of a death in the family, like organ donation. That, at least, is something that should be done right away. But it doesn’t qualify as something that has to be talked about RIGHT NOW with someone from a clinic or hospital. It’s something you need to tell the people involved, not strangers who happen to be administering HIV tests. They’d only know what you tell them in that regard, and therefore can’t tell you anything you don’t already know. So yes, it’s an important consideration, but again, NOT one that has anything to do with this particular test as opposed to something to do as soon as you find out no matter how that happens.

      “Like i said, pre-existing conditions aren’t really a concern for health insurance, or won’t be shortly. As for life insurance…you do realize good policies usually ask for a blood test, right? Telling people that there is some “insurance danger” to testing positive makes them think they will benefit from not testing.”
      —“Aren’t really a concern” and “won’t be shortly” are, again, very different things. “Won’t be shortly” is the only accurate statement of the two at the moment, and translates to “for now, still is a concern.” As for tests… I don’t know. I don’t currently have insurance, but I did have it for about ten years and never had any sort of physical or blood test, or even a drug test, at all. As for “insurance danger” stopping people from getting tested: how so? With this test unavailable, sure, that happens. With this test available, the only thing that fear would lead to, whether founded or not, is taking this test rather than getting one that leaves a record.

      “regardless of whether the republicans overturn obamacare or not, what the fuck good is accomplished by telling people this? If you’re right, they keep their insurance but die of AIDS. If you’re wrong…they keep their insurance but die of AIDS.”
      —How do you figure that? If your specific insurance situation would let you stay covered if you test positive later, but not if you turn up positive now (and I realize that much of the time that’s not going to be the case) then how does that correspond to “keeping your insurance but dying of AIDS?” Again: this is specifically NOT about avoiding getting tested. It’s about whether *this particular test* should be permitted or not, and what advantages and disadvantages *this particular test* has when compared to other methods. “Telling people to avoid the test” has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Oh well: Thank you; much better put than I managed.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      “If you’re seeing a “GP”, you’re seeing a doctor who dropped out of his training.”
      —I don’t know whether you’re wildly off, or it’s a localized thing… but around here, at least, GP and FP are essentially interchangeable and simply mean “not a specialist, and deals with all kinds.”

      Jul 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Tony: This one, my response (completely within the bounds of tact, no offensive language, etc) was picked up by that stupid automatic moderation system Queerty has going. But around here at least, no, General Practitioner does NOT mean “didn’t complete their training.” It just means they didn’t specialize.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe37
      Scribe37

      @Hyhybt: One thing all gay guys know is that men lie. Yeah he can say he loves you and is truthful but do you ever know? Are you willing to trust your life on the faith of another man? How many of your friends have been cheated on? Honestly are you telling me, you have never cheated on anyone? Love is great all for and I love my guy, but I wrap it before i fuck him and make him wrap when he fucks me.

      Jul 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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