Thailand’s Department of Disease Control (DDC) reports that the home use HIV rapid test kits are now available for sale at pharmacies.
DDC deputy director-general Dr. Preecha Prempree said Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) has approved two types of these HIV tests, the blood and saliva testing types. The result of the blood test is known in one minute, while that of the saliva test takes 20 minutes.
He said allowing HIV self-testing is part of the DDC’s nine-year plan to curb new HIV infections, deaths and the stigma attached to HIV infection. Thailand has set a target to reduce the number of deaths from HIV/Aids to fewer than 4,000 per year, with the stigma attached to HIV being reduced by 90% by 2030.
Dr. Preecha said Thailand has come up with a plan to improve access to HIV testing, particularly among at-risk groups, and rapid test kits are seen as an effective tool to get people tested, so that they know their infection status sooner. A confirmation test is required and will be conducted at a healthcare facility; in the case the rapid test comes back positive. (NNT)