Health officials are now using the new ‘’Point of Care Rapid Test’.
Gardenia Richardson, Coordinator at the National Aids Programme, says that the new testing system is expected to speed up the process by which persons receive their results.
“This is basically a system where it’s a finger prick as oppose to drawing blood and it can give a person their results in 20 minutes.”
According to the coordinator, this short period does not take away from the counselling time that every person being tested is required to undertake, which may push the time higher.
She stated that they want to ensure that everybody is adequately informed about the test, the results, the implication of those results and how best to live their life regardless of the test.
Commenting on the new method of testing, Richardson told MiyVue.com during a special event on National Testing Day, Friday, 12th December, that the system also releases any anxiety, which one may have had with the old testing system, because they had to return a day or two after, to find out their status, but this new method is fast and accurate.
“What we are proposing is that you will get back your results in a much faster way so there is no real anxiety.”
When asked, what is different between this new testing method and the old system of testing, she said “Well basically it’s the methodology, because we used the rapid test before and we would have to run it through a machine that has to spin it and it would take 45 minutes. We would not run them in ones we would run them in batches. Now with the point of care it is an individual test although we are running two tests… we are doing the parallel HIV testing so we are using two tests to confirm your result.”
Further, Richardson noted that the test is being carried out in the presence of the individual being screened.
However, it was said that the new testing kit was rigorously validated before it was launched, so that consistent results were proven during those test runs before the new system was brought to test persons publically.
“These were tests which were validated at our reference lab at the JNF (Hospital) so it’s not just a test that we bought off the market… Now the validation process is a long process where we run a number of tests over a period of time under different conditions to make sure the results are consistent.”
She noted that persons can live long productive lives even if they have the virus because currently there are medications available to persons in need.