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OraSure shares rise on launch of HIV test

NEW YORK -- Shares of OraSure jumped nearly 5 percent Wednesday after the company launched sales of the first home HIV test of its kind to be approved by federal regulators.

THE SPARK: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved other home-testing kits, but it was big news when OraSure brought to market a kit that does not require samples be sent to a lab for testing.

THE BIG PICTURE: The approval by the FDA in July meant that people could us a swab to detect the presence of HIV in saliva and get almost instant results. . The kit is designed to return a result within 20 to 40 minutes. It is hoped that people who would not usually get tested, will use the kit. HIV eventually develops into AIDS, unless treated with antiviral drugs. AIDS causes the body's immune system to break down, leading to infections which become fatal.

THE SHARES: Stock in OraSure Technologies Inc. rose 47 cents, to $10.68 in midday trading, after peaking at $11 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $7.72 and $14.01.