Edition 1493
22 September 2018
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National AIDS association launches HIV home-test

in News · 05-04-2018 14:31:00 · 0 Comments

National non-profit AIDS awareness and support association Abraço has launched a HIV screening test, which can be done at home.

National AIDS association launches HIV home-test

The test is anonymous, free and confidential, and will be available in mainland Portugal and islands to people over the age of 18.
Over the next few weeks Abraço Association will launch the home-based HIV test, which detects the AIDS virus, with the support of the Directorate General of Health (DGS).
However, according to newspaper Jornal de Notícias (JN), national drugs watchdog Infarmed has explained the test is for ‘off-label’ use, which means its use is not officially approved.
The chosen device “has not been studied or evaluated according to the legislative requirements” of the European Union, JN reported.
To do the test, a single prick to the finger is required to collect a blood sample for a filter.
The anonymity of the test is broken only if the result is positive in which case Abraço Association will contact the person in question and refer them for an appointment at the nearest hospital.
In addition to HIV, the test will also allow the detection of hepatitis C.
According to JN, Gonçalo Lobo, president of Abraço Association, says that this test aims to “reach people who do not live in large urban centres and have more difficulties” in accessing tests.
The home test can be ordered and no identification will be requested beyond the address to which it is to be sent.
In addition to the test itself, a kit is also sent containing an explanatory leaflet, blood collection material and an envelope to send the sample to the laboratory.
After the test is done and sent off for analysis, the applicant will receive the result through a mobile phone text or email message.
JN stresses that last year “55 percent of the diagnoses in Portugal showed an advanced stage of the disease”.
In the opinion of the president of the National Program for HIV / AIDS, which falls under the umbrella of the DGS, “early diagnosis is fundamental”, because “with treatment the person can have hope of a life identical to that of the rest of the general population”, and easier control over the disease.
To get around the fact that the test is not officially validated, the Abraço Association is to carry out a “study-project, in which the Ricardo Jorge Health Institute is expected to participate, to analyse it in a laboratory context.”
JN said the association has already spent €65,000 on ordering 500 kits for the tests.

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Edition 1493
22 September 2018
Edition: 1493

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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