On September 21, 2012 the AIDS Healthcare Foundation became the first community-based HIV program in the U.S. to use the newly FDA-approved HIV test that gives results in one minute. According to Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Senior Director of AHF’s Public Health Division, “The increased availability of the INSTI™ 60-second rapid test in the US is a game changer and will allow for large-scale testing events and new ways for point-of-care testing in emergency rooms. Most importantly, it will lead to new techniques of reaching people.”
With just a simple finger stick, people can know their status in a mere 60 seconds. The test does not require a lab or special equipment and is easily performed by people with minimal training in a variety of settings.
For someone who has been involved in HIV testing for nearly 20 years, this is amazing. When we first started testing, people would have to wait at least three weeks for their results. For many people opting for the free state test or in places where other rapid tests are not yet available, the wait is still lengthy. One of the primary problems with the longer wait time is that many people don’t return for their results. It will take some time, but my hope is that, within a short while, this test will be the standard everywhere.