CDC releases guidelines for use of OraQuick rapid HIV tests
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines Tuesday for the use of the OraQuick HIV-1 Rapid Antibody test kit, marketed by OraSure Technologies, which can produce results in about 20 minutes. The CDC announced in April that as much as $90 million in funding for U.S. HIV prevention efforts would be shifted to programs providing widespread HIV antibody testing to help identify the estimated 200,000 to 300,000 HIV-positive Americans who are unaware they're infected with HIV. Prevention programs aimed at encouraging HIV-positive people to not expose others to the virus also would be given funding priority.
This new CDC prevention focus also included a call for use of the OraQuick tests whenever possible. The quick test kits will enable outreach workers to test people on-site in at-risk communities and also to help eliminate the problem associated with standard HIV antibody tests of people not returning to receive their results several days after giving a blood or saliva sample. The CDC guidelines include recommendations for training staff who will be administering the tests, key steps to follow when preparing and administering the tests, government testing regulations that must be followed, and troubleshooting tips. The guidelines are available online as a PDF document at www.cdc.gov/hiv/rapid_testing/materials/QA_Guidlines_OraQuick.pdf.