UK launches new sixty-second HIV test in Brighton
Superdrug has become one of the first in the country to offer HIV testing in one of their Brighton stores.
InstiTest, designed to provide a 99.69 percent accurate HIV reading within just 60 seconds, costs £79 and requires only a small drop of an
individual’s blood to provide a result.
Over a quarter of people living with HIV in the UK don’t realise they have it and almost a third of people are diagnosed late, potentially putting their health at risk.
Increased testing for HIV is essential to improve these statistics and the Brighton and Hove area which has the second highest prevalence of HIV infection after London is a key area for HIV awareness and treatment initiatives.
A volunteer at the campus-based sexual, drug and alcohol advice service UNISEX said that the introduction of instant HIV tests on the high street could act to “de-stigmatize testing by making it more widely available.”
Concerns have however been raised over the high price of the InstiTest which requires that a registered nurse be present in store to administer the test and to provide sexual health advice and possible referral to an NHS clinic where required.
Though stocking the InstiTest in Superdrug will act to make means of testing more widely available, existing services such as those offered by the Terrance Higgins Trust (THT) and the Claude Nicol Centre are already in place to offer HIV tests for free and in a confidential environment.
Despite this Jason Warriner, Clinical Director of THT said that “it’s vital that everyone who’s been at risk of HIV is diagnosed, so we welcome the move to offer HIV testing on the high street”.
He continued to say that “increasing testing options has an important role to play in managing and eventually reducing the HIV epidemic in the UK.”