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MN AIDS Project Applauds New Home HIV Test Kits

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An expert panel is recommending that the Food and Drug Administration approve the first of its kind home test kit for HIV, and the head of a Minnesota AIDS advocacy group says it’s a good move.

The panel made up of experts voted unanimously to recommend the approval of the OraQuick In-Home HIV test. The FDA typically follows the advice of such panels.

“We want to see as many people as possible get tested and know their HIV status,” said Bill Tiedemann, executive director of the Minnesota AIDS Project.

He says the one of the best prevention methods for HIV is people knowing if they’re infected.

Tiedemann says they encourage people to get tested in the way that works best for each individual.

“Testing and then treating HIV is critical in maintaining one’s health,” Tiedemann said. “We encourage individuals with HIV to find the support and health services they need.”

Some FDA reviewers have raised questions about the accuracy of the tests. Tiedemann says while there would be concerns about false negatives or false positives with a home test kit, he says hopefully it would lead to further testing in clinical setting.

“(We) would request those individuals who have questions about their test to seek a second test through their doctor or the Minnesota AIDS Project,” he said.

The Minnesota AIDS Project holds its annual Minnesota AIDS Walk and Run for the Ribbon on Sunday at Minnehaha Park.

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