The first kits for individual HIV testing were introduced in Switzerland
On June 19, sales of the first officially approved tests for self-diagnosis for HIV started in Swiss pharmacies. This was reported yesterday at the Federal Public Health Administration.
According to the SWI portal, all tests of the individual testing kits were approved by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic).
Until now, the diagnosis of HIV in Switzerland could only be done in a medical facility. However, according to official data, up to 20% of people living with HIV in the country did not know about their status.
To increase the coverage of HIV testing, and to increase the percentage of cases detected, the health service and the Federal Commission on Sexual Health recently recommended that the distribution of HIV testing be freely available.
Now the tests can be purchased both directly in the pharmacy, and through the Internet.
It is reported that the self-test will include a set of reagents to determine the presence of antibodies to HIV from a blood sample. The test result will be known in less than 30 minutes.
To each individual set is attached a leaflet, which states that in case of a positive result a person should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
We add that the decision of the Swiss authorities to start free implementation of tests through pharmacies was not unanimous.
Opponents of the chosen strategy say that the means for diagnostics should remain in the hands of professionals, because even small errors of test users can lead to the wrong result.