13:11 30 October 2012
UK researchers have recently developed a cheap and relatively easy test that can detect HIV using the naked eye. It works similarly to most pregnancy tests, using different colors to show either a negative or positive result.
The cheap HIV test will show blue if the test is positive, otherwise it will turn red.
Prof Molly Stevens told the BBC: “This method should be used when the presence of a target molecule at ultra-low concentration could improve the diagnosis of disease.
“For example, it is important to detect some molecules at ultra-low concentrations to test cancer recurrence after tumour removal.
“It can also help with diagnosing HIV-infected patients whose viral load is too low to be detected with current methods.”
According to reports, early testing has been successful in detecting not just the HIV virus, but prostate cancer as well. However, it is understood that trials on a much larger scale are needed before the test could be used clinically.
The new test is supposedly 10times cheaper than the regular HIV test that is available at present, which could make it a great alternative for poorer countries.
Fellow researcher Dr Roberto de la Rica has said, as quoted in the same report by the BBC: “This test could be significantly cheaper to administer, which could pave the way for more widespread use of HIV testing in poorer parts of the world.”
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