Overall, the survey findings demonstrate support for rapid OTC testing - particularly from the HIV community - with approximately half of the respondents identified as people living with HIV/AIDS. It should be noted that the survey was conducted online, and thus its findings are not scientific. However, it offers some interesting insights.
Seventy-four percent (74%) of respondents said that they would support an OTC rapid, oral swab HIV test that could be purchased in a retail store, if approved by the FDA.
Other key findings of the survey found:
“Our survey demonstrates widespread support for additional testing options, especially among younger generations and those who are already living with HIV,” said Tom Donohue, Founding Director of Who’s Positive. "Over-the-counter testing has the potential to break down barriers and empower people who have never been tested before to learn their HIV status and, if positive, find the care and support they need."
How will an over the counter test affect already cash strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Programs? The jury is still out on that. As of May 10, 2012, there are 2,759 individuals on ADAP waiting lists in ten (10) states, according to the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) report. The number of states with waiting lists and individuals on them held relatively steady from last week’s update with a total increase of 55 individuals.