This USB stick is also your personal HIV testing device
In the developing countries, HIV/AIDS is still a taboo more than it is a disease. Many people still feel skeptical in visiting hospitals and health centers for blood tests to diagnose HIV. To change that, and to make certain that more and more people can effortlessly get their HIV tests done; researchers at the Imperial College London have teamed with DNA Electronics to develop a USB stick that doubles as an at-home HIV testing device.
Designed as a fast and effective way to carry out HIV tests, the device is a boon for patients in remote areas where access to medical facilities is limited.
The USB stick requires only a drop of blood for testing, and give out results in under 30 minutes, unlike the traditional testing methods that takes up to three days to determine results.
The USB device, research team hopes will over the years help monitor health of patients taking antiretroviral medication and inform them if the medication is actually helping with the HIV levels.
The easy to use testing kit has gone through several successful tests (published in Scientific Reports journal). The device was used to test about 991 blood samples and it faired with 95 percent accuracy.
It is believed that HIV treatment has changed dramatically over the last two decades, but the monitoring of viral load is still conventional, which is costly and time intensive. With the USB device people will have HIV diagnostic quicker and more effortlessly.