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Baton Rouge HIV testing advocate skeptical about at home tests

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Posted: May 17, 2012 9:42 AM by Olivia LaBorde
Updated: May 17, 2012 9:42 AM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: hiv, virus, home, test

WASHINGTON - People may soon be able to test themselves for the virus that causes AIDS in the privacy of their own homes.

However some advocates for more HIV/AIDS testing feel it may not be a good idea.

"While it's great that more people would be get tested; they won't have anybody there with them to educate or counsel them when they get the results," said AJ Johnson, president and founder of the Baton Rouge AIDS society.

Tuesday a panel of experts recommended approval of the first rapid, over-the-counter HIV test. The 17 members of the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously that the benefits of the OraQuick HIV test outweigh its potential risks for consumers. While the test, which uses a mouth swab to return a result in 20 minutes, does not appear to be as accurate as professionally-administered diagnostics, panelists said it could provide an important way to expand HIV testing.

The FDA will make its final decision on whether to approve the product later this year, weighing the opinion of the panel.

33 out of every 100,000 people in Baton Rouge have AIDS, according to 2010 data released Wednesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

News 2's Olivia Laborde will have more reaction to the decision from people involved in the fight against AIDS in Baton Rouge tonight on News 2 at 6 p.m.

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