Main | Friday, September 21, 2007

NYC Tests Early HIV Detection System

New York City is testing a new early detection system for HIV, which can identify the virus as soon as nine days after infection. People are at their most infectious immediately after acquiring the virus, a period called "acute infection", when they are 1000 times more able to transmit HIV to others.

From the NY Blade:
The trial system, called pooled blood testing, is available at three of the city’s 10 STD clinics: Chelsea in Manhattan, Fort Greene in Brooklyn and Morrisania in the Bronx. The standard or rapid HIV screening, including the oral swab, does not detect HIV during the acute stage; the new test does.
Pooled blood testing has been used in blood banks since 1999. Aside from the benefit of the infected person knowing of their hyper-infectiousness, if they start on anti-HIV meds immediately, some of the early (and most damaging) attacks on the immune system can be mitigated. Participation in the new test is voluntary and the test cannot be used those being tested anonymously.

NOTE: When was your last HIV test? Here are the locations for free confidential testing in NYC.

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