This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved OraQuick in-Home HIV Test, the first ever over-the-counter test that allows people to determine whether they are infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in the privacy of their own home. This will make it easy for you and me to know whether we are infected with the deadly HIV, but how reliable is this test?
OraQuick is extremely accurate when conducted by professionals but it does become less reliable when done by do-it-yourselfers who are the main target of the OraQuick in-Home HIV test. According to the New York Times, researchers have found that the home test is “accurate 99.98 percent of the time for people who do not have the virus”. This means that about one in 5,000 people would have a false positive test. In other words, OraQuick in-Home test will say that said person is positive for HIV even when s/he in fact does not have the disease.