March 26, 2004
Category: HIV & AIDS
New Rapid HIV Test is Leap Forward for Prevention
"Everyone should know their status to protect their own health and the health of their loved ones."
WASHINGTON - A newly approved rapid HIV test is a leap forward for prevention efforts, the Human Rights Campaign said today. The Food and Drug Administration announced today that the first oral rapid HIV test, which can deliver results in 20 minutes, has been approved for use.
"This is a vital new tool for preventing new HIV infections and getting life-prolonging treatment to those already infected," said Cheryl Jacques, HRC president. "Everyone should know their status to protect their own health and the health of their loved ones."
Some 40,000 people are infected each year with HIV and approximately 300,000 men, women and children are unknowingly infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"HIV testing should be rapid, accurate and confidential," continued Jacques. "By offering a pain-free testing mechanism and reducing wait time for results, this new test could increase testing rates."
"In addition to testing advances, it is critical that Congress and the administration fund strategic prevention programs at the CDC," added Jacques. "Infection rates of gay and bisexual men are rising and we need well-funded science-based approaches to halt this alarming trend."
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that GLBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.