HHS announces approval of new rapid HIV test
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced an important step in America's war against HIV/AIDS: the FDA approved of a remarkable new rapid HIV test. The OraQuick Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test, manufactured by OraSure Technologies, is a marked improvement over previous HIV tests, which required a vial of blood and a wait of several weeks for results. The new test uses only one drop of blood, and in just 20 minutes it can detect HIV antibodies with 99.6 percent accuracy.
This approval is the product of departmental cooperation, including the FDA, CDC, and CMS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is actively working with public health officials,
and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is offering technical assistance and training to testing personnel and laboratories interested in providing this test.
The Bush Administration is committed to doing everything possible to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. Overall HIV/AIDS spending by the U.S. government has increased from $14.2 billion in fiscal year 2001 to more than $16 billion for fiscal year 2003. That includes a doubling in international HIV/AIDS funding over the same period.
And the Administration is devoted to finding a cure and an effective vaccine. That's why it has allocated unprecedented resources to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH budget request for fiscal year 2003 includes $2.8 billion for HIV research - a more than $500 million increase over 2001.
For more information, go to the United States Health and Human Services at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
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