A study by researchers at the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta shows that the OraQuick rapid HIV antibody test, which can produce results in about 20 minutes, is being welcomed by at-risk individuals being screened for HIV infection, AIDS Alert reports. The consortium developed a program called the Metro Atlanta Women of Color Initiative, which aims to boost testing and counseling for African-American women in the city. A survey of the women given the test showed that 99% said they preferred the rapid test to standard HIV antibody tests, which can take up to a week for results. All of the women surveyed said they would recommend the rapid tests to family members or friends. "The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive," said lead researcher Melanie Thompson. Although the program targeted African-American women, 29% of the first 300 clients tested were at-risk minority men.
A separate study by researchers at the University of Minnesota showed that of 739 people in Minneapolis given an OraQuick rapid HIV test, all but one stayed to receive the results. As many as one third of all people tested for HIV antibodies with standard tests, and up to half in some locales, do not return for their test results, mostly because of the one-week waiting period, health officials say. The Minnesota test included people in chemical dependency programs, homeless shelters, halfway houses, and youth centers, which typically have the lowest levels of people returning for their HIV test results through standard testing methods.