Instant HIV test

Health Watch

It’s estimated 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV. But 1 in 7 are unaware they even have it. Now, there’s an easier than ever way to find out if a person is HIV positive.

Rolando Rodriguez can carry a tune. Music and his health are always at the top of his mind. Today he’s taking a screening test for HIV.

“It is an epidemic. I mean it is something that is seriously. Could threaten your life and your health,” said Rolando Rodriguez.

The Insti Test is simple and quick. The process starts with a finger prick. A few drops of blood go into a solution about 60 seconds later, a patient knows if he’s infected with HIV.

“This is groundbreaking for us,” said Shirlene Manuel, Prevention and Sexual Health Specialist.

Prevention specialist Shirlene Manuel has been testing for HIV since the ’80s. It used to take weeks to get results. She thinks speeding up the process could slow down the spread of infection.

“It has made a difference in the amount of tests that we see come into the office now and the amount of testing that we are doing out in the community,” said Shirlene Manuel.

This rapid result test is in line with the president’s HIV initiative to end the epidemic by 2030.

Brian Bailey, Metro Inclusive Health CMO said, “If we can reach those people that are at high risk quicker we can get that epidemic really down where it should be.”

Rolando’s test came back negative. Giving him peace of mind and something to sing about.

Experts say there is one thing for patients to consider, very recent HIV infection might not be picked up by the Insti Test since the body might not have produced enough detectable antibodies.

Doctors suggest patients ask their health care providers if they should consider getting retested in 3 to 6 months.

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