HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- American women and girls will make up nearly a quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States this year, providing a stark reminder that increased HIV testing can save lives, Home Access Health Corporation, the leading manufacturer of at-home laboratory services, said today.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), statistics on HIV among women and girls provide powerful evidence of the need for early detection," said Mary Vogt, president of Home Access Health, noting that Sunday is Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. "Recent statistics show that women account for almost 24 percent - over 10,000 cases - of all new diagnoses of HIV infection among U.S. adults and adolescents."
The U.S. will have approximately 50,000 new HIV cases this year. About 1.2 million Americans are now living with the disease, a quarter of them women. Of all Americans with HIV, 20 percent do not know they are infected.
"Although men still represent the larger group infected with HIV, the number of infected women and girls—particularly women of color—is staggering," Vogt said. "Black and Hispanic/Latina women represent approximately 80 percent of new HIV diagnoses among women, and while medical advances have resulted in better treatment of AIDS, HIV infections remain at an epidemic level. The adverse impact on women often gets lost; it's clear that too many women don't know they are carrying the virus, and most will be infected by their partner through heterosexual sex. We all owe it to ourselves to know our HIV status. Early detection can save lives, and the Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness initiative continues to promote the importance of awareness, testing and treatment."
Home Access Health Corporation manufactures a test that provides an option for anonymous HIV testing. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, the Home Access® Express HIV-1 Test System provides users with confirmed positive results in a single business day, plus access to a staff of trained HIV counselors.
The Express HIV-1 Test System is greater than 99.9 percent accurate, and detects HIV-1 by using a self-collected fingerstick blood sample. The sample is sent overnight to a certified testing laboratory using FDA-approved assays. Preliminary positive results are confirmed and results are available by telephone the next business day using an anonymous 1-800 number. Users of the test have immediate access to degreed and bilingual professionals who offer results, counseling and medical referrals.
Home Access cautions the public that individuals taking HIV tests should be aware there is a period of time – the "window" period – during which individuals who are positive will still test negative. Blood-based HIV tests have a shorter window period than oral fluid tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the "window" period can range from 4 to 6 weeks up to 6 months. Persons who believe they have been exposed to HIV should have repeat testing.
The Home Access® Express HIV-1 Test System is available at major pharmacies including Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid, as well as online at Drugstore.com and at www.homeaccess.com.
For information on the at-home HIV test market, visit HIVHomeTestFacts.com today.
About Home Access Health Corporation
Home Access Health Corporation (HAHC) was founded in 1993 to provide anonymous, direct-to-consumer laboratory test services using self-collected fingerstick blood. Individuals collect, package and send a small fingerstick blood specimen to the Company's CAP-accredited laboratory, using components provided in the Home Access test kits. HAHC received FDA approval for its HIV-1 Test System in 1996 and immediately launched a national consumer awareness campaign.
SOURCE Home Access Health Corporation