AIDS home testing kits go on sale in France
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Home testing kits for HIV/AIDS went on sale in French pharmacies on Tuesday, allowing users to find out in 15 minutes if they are infected.
The kits, made by French company AAZ, will cost between 25 and 28 euros and are available without a doctor’s prescription.
French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the test kits were not intended to substitute hospital screenings, but would nevertheless play an important role in the fight against AIDS.
“People who want to test themselves can do so and I am happy that these test kits are of good quality and are reliable,” she told reporters, adding that there are an estimated 30,000 carriers of the HIV virus in France who have not been diagnosed.
Among these, she said, “there are many people who are afraid of going to testing clinics”.
“It is better for them to test themselves than to carry with the uncertainty,” Touraine added. “If they test positive, they can very easily contact our telephone and online information services, or consult their doctor.”
According to French medical website Doctissimo, there were an estimated 6,200 new HIV infections in 2013.
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