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New HIV Test Gives Results in One Minute

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- More than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection and almost one in six don't even know they have it.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- More than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection and almost one in six don't even know they have it.

HIV stands for human immuno-deficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to AIDs. The human body cannot get rid of HIV; once you have it, you have it for life.

That’s why a new, quick test can get treatment started faster than ever before.

Dorian-Gray Alexander was diagnosed with HIV in 2006, but new treatments mean he can live a normal long life.

Director of the Tulane T-cell Clinic, Dr. Mark Allan Dery, says HIV is no longer a death sentence, it's a chronic illness like diabetes and cancer.

“Now we've got it down to one pill once a day,” says Dr. Dery. “You can keep that viral load significantly diminished and once your viral load goes down the immune system comes back up.”

For Dorian, HIV is undetectable.

“I plan to live a very long life,” says Dorian.

Dr. Dery is not Dorian’s regular doctor, but both are advocates of testing. And now there is a new, free, confidential and anonymous test.

With a quick finger stick you get results in one minute.

“One in 5 people who are living with HIV are unaware that they have HIV,” says Dr. Dery. “And those 20 percent are actually responsible for 60 to 80 percent of new viral transmissions.”

People who know they are positive are less likely to keep having unprotected sex and more likely to get on medication that decreases the virus in their system. And that means it's less likely to be spread.

Most doctors would advise getting an HIV test in a clinic rather than using a home test kit. They say the immediate counseling you'll get could be the difference in living a long healthy high quality life, or not.


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