Over-the-counter HIV test coming to Australia

A rapid detection HIV test that can be purchased without a prescription may soon become available in Australia

The CEO of Sydney-based company Atomo Diagnostics, John Kelly, has told the The Age he is hoping his company will be the first to sell HIV tests directly to Australian consumers.

Atomo is starting a local trial of its product in the next few months, he says, with plans to submit an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration for approval to sell it in Australia.

If approved, the test will be sold for an estimated $15-$20 in pharmacies, online and from clinics able to support those who receive a positive result, the company told the International AIDS Conference 2016.

A European study of the company’s finger prick test found it was 99.8% accurate, with a result available within 15 minutes.

This would be a fast alternative to testing in a specialised clinic and potentially waiting days for a result.

The AtomoRapid HIV (1&2) test includes a series of interlocked user steps, helping to mitigate user errors that are common with standard rapid diagnostic test kits, says the company.

It has already been launched commercially in southern Africa in 2014, “where it continues to prove popular with frontline healthcare professionals,” it says.

“Atomo is committed to supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS,” says Kelly. “The ability to screen accurately for HIV is crucial in determining the appropriate care and support for HIV-positive adults and children.”

In 2015 the company received $6 million from US-based Global Health Investment Fund, which is run by JPMorgan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It also recently secured a $1.8 million grant from the NSW Medical Device Fund 2015-2016 to develop a rapid detection self-test device.

Image: Atomo Diagnostics

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1 Comment

  1. Jarrod McMaugh

    Excellent news

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