Self-testing can mean that people who are afraid to ask for an HIV test can do it in the comfort of their home. (Twitter: Atomo Diagnostics)
The administration of therapeutic products has approved an HIV self-test device for sale, described by public health advocates as the “missing piece of the puzzle” in the fight against the blood-borne virus.
- The device will be available for purchase via the Internet.
- 24-hour support service will offer assistance to test users.
- Self-testing is already used in many countries in Europe and the USA
But one person living with HIV criticized Australia for “a decade behind the rest of the world” the HIV detection method.
The TGA solution means that you can now test for HIV at home without visiting a general practitioner or sexual health clinic.
Sophisticated by Sydney-based Atomo Diagnostics, a one-time dandruff test gives a result for HIV after 15 minutes.
Federal Minister of Health Greg Hunt made this announcement on World AIDS Day at the Canberra Parliament Building this morning.
“For those who may have a reluctance or reason they don’t want to go to the doctor and look for a check, this gives them extra freedom, accessibility and convenience,” said Hunt ABC.
HIV self-testing devices were banned in Australia until 2014, but since then they have been available for purchase online from foreign retailers.
An approved Atomo device will also be available for purchase online.
Getting more people on treatment before
Darryl, chief executive officer of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations, Donnell said that today's announcement will make it easier for people at risk of HIV infection, such as gays and bisexuals, to get tested.
“For those who need to be checked very regularly, up to four times a year, we need something more convenient and affordable for them,” he said.
"Self-testing is the missing piece of the puzzle."
LGBTI advocate Dean Beck, who has been living with the virus for five years, said that welcoming this statement, he said that Australia is still reaching for other countries where devices have long been available.
Self-testing has already been used in most parts of Europe and in the USA, and the World Health Organization has recommended the use of kits for homes since 2016.
“This does not excuse us for having lagged behind the rest of the world for a decade, which has allowed people to quickly and effectively be tested,” said Mr. Beck.
He said that there would surely be cases when people contracted HIV from an undiagnosed person who would know their status if self-examination was available to them.
Mr. Beck also hoped that the tests would eventually be available through a pharmacy in pharmacies.
Several countries around are already offering self-testing. This week, the TGA approved the sale of devices in Australia. (World Health Organization)
Burnet Institute’s head of public health, Professor Mark Stowe, said that as soon as possible, people began to seek help as a key component of an HIV prevention strategy in Australia, and that something would support self-control.
People who are on treatment for HIV may become infected with a viral load to such an extent that they cannot pass the virus to others.
But 10 percent of Australians with HIV are unaware of their positive status.
Professor Stove listed immigrants and people living in rural and remote areas, as well as other groups in the community who benefit most from the self-test, stating that the stigma associated with HIV often prevents these communities from seeing a doctor.
Support is needed after a positive result.
Professor Mark Stowe says support is needed for people who test positive for HIV self-testing. (Supplied: Burnet Institute)
But he said that making the test more accessible means that medical services have "given up control" to care for someone living with HIV.
He said that important people who tested positive for HIV at home, then personally visited the medical service to get more tests and access to medications.
“But while a positive result will significantly affect them, they also need to know that people diagnosed with HIV in 2018 are now expecting life as long and healthy as other Australians,” said Professor Stowe.
A TGA spokesperson said that Atomo Diagnostics will offer round-the-clock support services to help test users.
The Burnet Institute is working on testing to spread self-testing from a peer-to-peer network and online platform to people who use self-testing in contact with health care providers.
Mr. Hunt also announced today the treatment of HIV infection. Juluka was included in the scheme of pharmaceutical benefits, reducing the cost of treatment from $ 11,000 per year to $ 39.50 for each scenario.
Holders of concession cards will be able to access the drug for just $ 6.90 per script.
The government also agreed to allocate $ 5 million. The United States to develop a new national strategy to combat blood viruses, which includes the goal of virtually eradicating HIV in Australia by 2022.
AIDS and HIV