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IN-HOME HIV TEST INTRODUCED BY HEALTH TEST INC.; A LOW COST, CONFIDENTIAL PROCEDURE; COUNSELING OFFERED

 IN-HOME HIV TEST INTRODUCED BY HEALTH TEST INC.;
 A LOW COST, CONFIDENTIAL PROCEDURE; COUNSELING OFFERED
 COSTA MESA, Calif., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Test Inc. has announced the introduction of an accurate, low-cost HIV in-home test. Designated "HIV Home Check," the service provides a dried blood sample collection from individuals who want a confidential serostatus report of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1).
 According to Stephen J. Coonan, president of Health Test, the company uses an FDA-approved dried blood spot testing procedure. The test procedure and reagents used are patented by Genetic Systems, formerly a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and now a unit of Sanofi Diagnostics Pasteur Inc. The procedure was used on over 2 million Americans last year as a prerequisite for obtaining life insurance coverage.
 "The Centers for Disease Control estimate that there are between 1 and 1.5 million HIV-1 infected people in the United States, but only about 200,000 have been detected," said Coonan. Studies show that with a confidential, accurate and low-cost sample collection in the privacy of a home, an additional 30 percent of that infected population will permit themselves to be tested.
 Earliest detection of the HIV virus promises the best chance of longevity against developing AIDS. Recent exciting breakthroughs indicate that within five years, a vaccination against the spread, or at least a treatment, of AIDS will be available.
 For the short term, however, alarming new data released last month shows that the HIV-1 positive rate for America's "low-risk group" (essentially heterosexuals and non-drug users) is much greater than anticipated. For this reason, everyone should be tested.
 Cost for the testing procedure is only $24.95. For an additional $20, a technician will assist in the privacy of the home.
 The Health Test process consists of performing a simple finger stick to collect blood on a filter paper and returning the specimen to Health Test. The specimens are analyzed (using the ELISA method) by a state- certified laboratory. Results are obtained in approximately one week. With the results, the client receives a confirmation of the date of the HIV-Negative results. It also explains the full impact of what HIV negative means and when to test next.
 A negative in the Health Test process indicates no detectable circulating anti-bodies to HIV-1. However, the average infected adult will take six months to incubate (seroconvert). It is therefore recommended that testing be done on a regular basis for a sexually active person.
 A doctor or qualified counselor will contact those who do not test negative. Like the insurance industry, the test is not diagnostic. These cases are classified as inconclusive, and the individual is directed to obtain a confirmatory test (Western Blot) through a physician, who then will make an actual diagnosis of condition.
 Health Test Inc. is located at 380 Clinton St., Costa Mesa, Calif. A press conference is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 25. Call Doug Pryor for details.
 -0- 3/23/92 R
 /CONTACT: Doug Pryor of Lindsey, Pryor & Associates, 714-755-6959, for Health Test/ CO: Health Test Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT


AL-CH -- LA008 -- 0552 03/23/92 11:52 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 23, 1992
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