New rapid test for HIV approved in AustraliaSouce:Xinhua Publish By David K. Barger Updated 17/12/2012 9:56 pm in Health&Lifestyle / no comments
CANBERRA, Dec. 17 — A new rapid screening test for HIV, which will be able to give a preliminary result within half an hour, has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for marketing in Australia, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said on Monday.
Marketing the Alere Determine Combo HIV 1/2 Ag/Ab test means that Australians can increase the number of people being tested for the disease and reduce the risk of transmission.
“It is expected that this simple, first line screening will encourage vulnerable people to be tested more regularly and to undertake further assessment if there is a positive result, enabling treatment to commence if there is a confirmed positive diagnosis,” Minister Plibersek said in a statement.
The preliminary screening test requires only a finger prick of blood which is transferred to a test card. The test card detects the presence of HIV antigen and antibodies in the blood sample and the result is available within 20-30 minutes.
Supply of the rapid test kit has been limited to ensure that the test is only made available for use by trained health professionals in healthcare settings.
In Australia between 1985 and 30 December 2011 there have been 31,645 HIV infections, 10,797 cases of AIDS and 6,843 deaths. An estimated 24 731 people were living with diagnosed HIV infection in Australia at the end of 2011.
The number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia in 2011 was 1,137, an increase of 8.2 percent over the number in 2010. While the number of new diagnoses had been relatively stable at around 1000 over the previous five years there has been a gradually increase over the past 12 years, from 719 diagnoses in 1999.