Today is World Aids Day 2016 – a day dedicated to raising awareness and tackling stigma. This leads on from HIV testing week and the importance of knowing your status, both awareness days providing vital tools in diagnosing and treating HIV.
Accessing a clinic is easy for some but can be a barrier for others preventing them finding out their HIV status. It’s important to remind people that other ways of testing do exist – like HIV self testing, which is one option for those struggling to be seen in a clinic. In fact, recent research from the British HIV Association indicated that of the HIV self tests brought online 28,000 units sold between 2015 and 2016, 75% were from non-metropolitan areas and almost half of users were first time testers.
Here at bioLytical Laboratories, we’re world leaders in developing rapid infectious disease tests. We recently developed a new sixty second solution called the INSTI® HIV Self-Test. The test detects HIV up to two weeks sooner than all other HIV home tests and provides an estimated 18,000 people in the UK who are unaware of their positive status the opportunity to test without waiting for an appointment and the results.
Access to sexual health clinics in the UK has been widely reported to affect rural communities over cities, with city residents benefiting from available sexual health services as well as primary and secondary care consultancy, whilst more remote communities lack basic access.
We developed the INSTI HIV Self-Test was for just this reason, to enable individuals to take control of their own schedule when it comes to HIV testing. The test is easy to use and can be conducted in the comfort of your own home and obtaining an instant response.
And if your result is positive it’s important to remind people of the advances in treatment and that you can live a normal and healthy life with the right care. The INSTI HIV Self Test provides a resource card on where to seek help and for those who have general questions on HIV screening.
The test kit is available now online at www.INSTI-HIVSelfTest.com and costs 29.95 Euros (£25.95*) per kit.