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J Infect Dis. 2010 Apr 15;201 Suppl 1:S7-15. doi: 10.1086/650393.

Public health rationale for rapid nucleic acid or p24 antigen tests for HIV.

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HIV/AIDS Division, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.


Rapid diagnostic tests that might be capable of detecting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antigens or nucleic acids represent the possibility of merging 2 key advancements in HIV testing: rapid testing and detection of acute HIV infection. In this article, we review the public health goals of rapid HIV testing and acute HIV testing and explore how rapid tests to directly detect HIV antigens or nucleic acids might alter current approaches to HIV case identification in clinical and public health screening settings. We discuss the specific types of HIV screening programs and settings in which direct viral rapid testing would offer an important advantage. Finally, we suggest priorities in operations research that must be achieved to pave the way for the future introduction of direct rapid viral testing technologies in the HIV testing marketplace.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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