HIV Self-Testing Kits Available To Buy At Superdrug Pharmacies For First Time
HIV self-testing kits are going to be available to buy on the high street for the first time, a retailer has announced.
The at-home tests, which will be stocked by 200 Superdrug outlets, give results in 15 minutes and cost £33.99.
Beforehand, the BioSURE HIV Self Test was only available to buy online. It became the first legally approved self-testing kit in 2015, with a 99.7% accuracy rate.
It uses a small amount of blood from a finger prick sample to detect the presence of HIV antibodies.
Superdrug says making the kit more widely available will help eliminate an anxious wait, and could also help increase early diagnosis rates.
HIV has become more manageable in recent years owing to developments in available treatments, but late diagnosis can have a devastating impact on health and life expectancy.
Dr Pixie McKenna, a GP who serves as the retailer's health expert, said: "Superdrug's move to encourage and empower patients to self-test for HIV is one further step forward in our fight against this disease.
"While there is no cure, early diagnosis is key in terms of management.
"Patients successfully managed on HIV treatments have normal life expectancy, but to know you need treatment you need to know your diagnosis."
Terrence Higgins Trust estimates there are 10,400 people in the UK who do not know that they are living with HIV.
This means they are not on effective medication and could be passing the virus on.
HIV is a virus which attacks the immune system and weakens the body's ability to fight diseases.
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