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28 June 2017
Brazilian citizens will soon be able to test themselves for the HIV virus in their blood. The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) recently approved the registration of the first HIV self-testing kit in the country, following the issuance of Resolution 52/2015.
Brazil has joined other countries which have already approved the registration of an HIV self-testing kit. The United States approved the registration and sale of the first HIV self-testing kit five years ago. Two years later, the United Kingdom allowed the sale of an HIV self-testing kit, and in 2015 France also took the same step to help to fight against undiagnosed people living with HIV.
The product registered in Brazil is called Action and has been developed by a Brazilian company headquartered in Rio de Janeiro. The first units of Action should be available at drugstores by the end of June 2017.
According to ANVISA, during the registration procedures, the Brazilian manufacturer was able to prove the effectiveness of the HIV self-testing kit at a 99.9% accuracy level after a 30-day period from exposure to the virus. In the event of a negative result, ANVISA recommends that the individual to take the test again after 30 days, due to the virus's incubation time.
The HIV self-testing kit works similarly to those used by diabetic patients to measure glucose levels in their blood. The individual collects blood through a finger stick, the blood mixes with a reagent and the results are shown within approximately 20 minutes.
Both the manufacturer and ANVISA believe this is a major step forward in the battle against AIDS/HIV. The low uptake of HIV testing is usually related to bias, the criminalisation of behaviour and unfriendly services. The convenience of taking the test at home and in private may lead to the increase the early diagnosis and access to antiretroviral therapy at an early stage.
On an international level, using HIV self-testing it is a relevant tool for fighting the AIDS/HIV epidemic, and is expected to help the United Nations Programme on HIV and its 90-90-90 goal:
For further information on this topic please contact Elysangela de Oliveira Rabelo at TozziniFreire Advogados by telephone (+55 11 50 86 50 00) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The TozziniFreire Advogados website can be accessed at www.tozzinifreire.com.br.
(1) Please refer to the World Health Organisation's website.
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