According to the Washington Post, the FDA is currently considering approval of a new home HIV test, which could be purchased over the counter and administered within 20 minutes by performing a simple gum swab.There are still some hurdles to clear before this test pops up in your neighborhood pharmacy. Its false negative rate, 7 percent, is above the FDA’s maximum of 5 percent so more tweaks may be needed. Less justifiably, some public health experts are concerned that those who test positive may be less likely to seek treatment without a doctor’s encouragement.Via Meadia hopes that this test, or one like it, can be approved. A test like this could help prevent the spread of HIV, which is often transmitted by people who don’t know they have it and wouldn’t think to get tested at a clinic. Perhaps a more convenient and private test would lead many of them to take the plunge.Beyond the AIDS struggle, giving people more control over their health is a necessary part of creating a sustainable health care system in this country. A dependency culture—waiting passively for the doctors to take care of it—both infantilizes people and raises costs.Naturally, there are limits to how much responsibility you can expect from people, but a health care system that unnecessarily restricts individual choice and costs so much that it will bankrupt the country is also a bad idea. More power in health care and more responsibility needs to go to individuals; they will sometimes make bad decisions, but doctors and public health “experts” are also mistaken from time to time.More green shoots like this HIV test would be most welcome.
Home HIV Test about Putting Patients in Charge of Health
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