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CDC trying out free rapid AIDS test at drugstores
Question of the Day
Only three or four customers have gone through with a test in the first few weeks.
“We get a lot of questions,” she said. “Usually they get the information and they go and sit on it and think about it.”
There’s a second Walgreens in Washington offering the test, as well as branches in Chicago and Lithonia, Ga. Other test sites: East Pines Pharmacy in Riverdale, Md., Mike’s Pharmacy in Oakland, Calif. and a federal Indian Health Service location in Billings, Mont.
Each location will get enough tests to check 200 to 300 people. Made by OraSure Technologies Inc., the $17.50 test is the only government-approved rapid HIV test that uses saliva. Other rapid tests on the market analyze a finger-prick blood sample.
Rapid tests are used routinely in doctor’s offices, hospitals and clinics.
The OraSure test can also use a blood sample but the CDC drugstore program will use a mouth swab, said company spokesman Ron Ticho. The stick-like testing device is used to wipe the inside of the mouth, then it is put in a solution. If two lines appear, that indicates a positive test.
The company is seeking government approval to sell it over-the-counter for home testing. A decision is expected later this year.
The test is sold in about 40 countries. Ticho said he is not aware of another country where pharmacies routinely offer the testing.
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