Magic Johnson Endorses First Rapid FDA Approved In-Home HIV Test

Posted By Urban News Hour | October 17, 2012

Legendary NBA Magic Johnson launches a new campaign endorsing the first FDA-approved home HIV test, OraQuick.

Magic Johnson announced his HIV infection in November 1991. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS. He has advertised GlaxoSmithKline’s drugs,and partnered with Abbott Laboratories to publicize the fight against AIDS in African American communities.

“When you think about the black and brown community, the stigma behind HIV and AIDS in our community… not wanting anybody to see us walk into a clinic or to the doctor’s office, this kit will help,” Johnson said. “That’s the people who I was thinking about most when I thought about this kit.”

The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is an over-the-counter version of the company’s OraQuick ADVANCE HIV 1/2 Antibody Test, the market-leading rapid HIV test with millions of units sold to hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations and physician offices around the world.

OraQuick is from OraSure Technologies, a company who for two decades, has been a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of oral diagnostic and collection devices and health care professionals have used for HIV tests.

On July 3, 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the HIV test, OraQuick for sale directly to consumers in the over-the-counter market making it the first and only rapid over-the-counter HIV test approved in the U.S.

“For the first time ever, individuals will have access to an in-home oral test that will empower them to learn their HIV status in the comfort of their home and obtain referral to care if needed”, said President and Chief Executive Officer of OraSure Technologies, Douglas A. Michels.

Despite making up just 13 percent of the population, African Americans account for nearly half of the estimated 1.2 million people living with the disease, nearly half of new HIV cases, and half of annual AIDS-related deaths, according to Phil Wilson, president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute.

“In our black and brown community, there’s always been excuses of why people won’t go to the doctor to get tested, now we are taking all that away from them, ” Johnson says.

In a clinical trial conducted by test maker Orasure, OraQuick detected HIV in those carrying the virus only 92 percent of the time, but was 99.9 percent accurate in ruling out HIV in patients who are not carrying the disease.

Despite this, Johnson goes on to say, “I think it’s a game changer… What saved my life? Early detection. I got on some meds right away.”

OraQuick is fast and efficient as it produces results in 20 minutes with the use of a mouth swab that detects antibodies from HIV-1 and HIV-2 in oral fluid, no blood involved. It will be sold online and at retail pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, for $40.

A full list of retailers, several frequently asked questions, and 24/7 customer support is directly available on the OraQuick website: http://www.oraquick.com/

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