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Int J STD AIDS. 2006 Jun;17(6):357-9.

A review of HIV point-of-care tests.

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  • 1St Stephens Centre, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Fulham Road, London, UK.


Current epidemiological data show a large proportion of those with HIV in the UK remain undiagnosed. There is high level of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among men having sex with men (MSM). There is credible evidence that there are increasing rates of HIV transmission in heterosexuals. In MSM the uptake of confidential HIV testing is increasing although 43% of those who are HIV positive may leave the clinic unaware of their infection. Rapid access to genitourinary (GU) medicine services varies but there is still a significant problem with less than 50% of those attending GU medicine clinics not being seen within 48 hours. Within our speciality, new methods are being developed to help improve access to diagnostic services. One of these developments is the increasing use of rapid point-of-care tests, which may overcome some of the barriers to HIV testing and diagnosis. We look at the availability, practical implications, benefits and potential difficulties of implementing these devices in HIV testing services.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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