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New York Times Examines How Rapid At-Home HIV Test Might Affect Dating Culture

November 28, 2005

The New York Times on Sunday examined how the approval of a rapid at-home HIV test might affect the dating culture in the U.S. Bethlehem, Pa.-based OraSure Technologies is expected to apply soon to FDA for permission to sell its OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV 1/2 Antibody Test over the counter. "The test is part of a growing stable of medical products that people can use at home to address their sexual behavior," the Times reports, noting that pregnancy tests and emergency contraception are others. Although some people say that the test could help reassure them and make "certain inhibitions ... disappear" if the results are negative, "the test can offer no assurances about a partner's most recent sexual history -- or fidelity" -- because HIV infection takes between two weeks to three months to become detectable on the test, according to the Times. However, the test could "help stem a stubbornly high rate of HIV infections" in the country by getting more people to learn their HIV status, the Times reports (Harris, New York Times, 11/27).

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