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Home HIV Testing: Good News but Not a Game Changer

A. David Paltiel, PhD; and Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

This article was published at www.annals.org on 9 October 2012.

From the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale School of Management, New Haven, Connecticut, and the Medical Practice Evaluation Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Center for AIDS Research, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Acknowledgment: The authors thank Paul E. Sax, MD, for helpful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.

Grant Support: The authors are funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R37 AI42006, P30 AI060354), the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH65869), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA015612).

Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M12-1975.

Requests for Single Reprints: A. David Paltiel, PhD, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, Room 305, New Haven, CT 06520-8034; e-mail, david.paltiel@yale.edu.

Current Author Addresses: A. David Paltiel, PhD, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, PO Box 208034, New Haven, CT 06520-8034.

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: A.D. Paltiel, R.P. Walensky.

Drafting of the article: A.D. Paltiel, R.P. Walensky.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: A.D. Paltiel, R.P. Walensky.

Final approval of the article: A.D. Paltiel, R.P. Walensky.

Provision of study materials or patients: R.P. Walensky.

Obtaining of funding: A.D. Paltiel.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: A.D. Paltiel, R.P. Walensky.

Collection and assembly of data: R.P. Walensky.

Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(10):744-746. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-157-10-201211200-00545
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In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first truly over-the-counter home HIV testing kit. This commentary discusses the public's enthusiastic response to the approval of the test but concludes that although home HIV testing may be useful, its expectations in eliminating barriers to expanded HIV detection seem unrealistic. Ultimately, routine HIV screening in health care settings is our best hope for identifying the 235 000 Americans who remain unaware of their HIV infection and linking them to effective care.

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