Three-Minute AIDS Test Wins Approval

Much faster than conventional tests

TUESDAY, April 22, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A three-minute test to detect the AIDS-causing HIV virus in a person's blood has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, its Canadian manufacturer says.

Halifax-based MedMira Inc.'s Reveal Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test kit is similar to a home pregnancy test. If it detects HIV antibodies in a person's blood, it will show two red lines.

The company says the three-minute results could prevent people who are unsure of their HIV status from infecting others. Typical HIV detection tests take days or even weeks to yield results, MedMira says.

The test is designed to be administered only in clinics or hospitals. It has a one-year shelf life at room temperature.

Earlier this month, the same test was approved for use in China. Cardinal Health, an international health-products firm, will market the test in the United States, MedMira says.

Here is the company press release announcing the approval. For more information about AIDS and HIV, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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