Home Access Health launches educational website for at-home HIV tests

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Home Access Health Corporation, manufacturer of at-home laboratory test services, today announced the launch of www.HIVhometestfacts.com, a new website providing vital facts about all FDA-approved over-the-counter HIV tests currently on the market.

"We believe HIVhometestfacts.com will be an important resource for those interested in choosing an at-home HIV test," said Mary Vogt, President of Home Access Health Corporation. "At-home testing options increase overall testing rates, add to the body of knowledge surrounding risk factors for HIV, and reduce the rates of transmission of this dangerous virus. But the products on the market differ widely, and the public deserves to know the key distinctions that each offers."

The website is designed to help the public understand the two at-home testing options –and more importantly– their differences, especially as they relate to accuracy, Vogt said.

Two FDA-approved, over-the-counter at-home HIV tests are available to the public today without the need to see a doctor or visit a clinic: the Home Access® Express HIV-1 Test System, on the shelves since 1996, and the OraSure Technologies' OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test, which received FDA approval in July 2012.

www.HIVhometestfacts.com provides a clear comparison of the products, offers answers to frequently asked questions, explains how the tests work, and supplies additional resources on HIV/AIDS education and support.

The completely anonymous Home Access ® Express HIV-1 Test System is greater than 99.9 percent accurate, gives users next-day results, provides confirmation of preliminary positive results, and offers counseling by degreed professionals, Vogt said. The Home Access® Express HIV-1 Test System may be purchased through major retailers such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid, through various online retailers including Drugstore.com and directly from Home Access (www.homeaccess.com).

The Home Access® Express HIV-1 Test System uses a self-collected fingerstick blood sample, which is sent to the certified Home Access laboratory via FedEx® overnight delivery. The laboratory tests the sample for presence of antibodies to HIV-1. Results are available the day the sample is received by the testing lab, by telephone, using the anonymous 1-800 number included with the test and referencing the unique PIN associated with the blood sample.

The OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test relies on self-collected oral fluid. The user places the oral fluid sample collection stick in a test tube of developer solution and waits 20 – 40 minutes for results. The test user interprets the test validity and the presence of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 by reading the lines on the test stick. No control line represents an invalid test. A preliminary positive result must be confirmed, typically requiring a visit to a clinical laboratory or health department.

Medical literature reports that blood-based HIV tests have a shorter "window" period -- the time period that individuals who are positive will test negative, but can still infect others -- than oral fluid tests. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "window" period can range from 4-6 weeks up to 6 months; most HIV tests can detect antibodies within 2 months. Blood-based testing will detect antibodies earlier than oral fluid testing. If a person tests negative, but the person still has reason to believe he or she has been exposed to HIV, repeat testing is encouraged.

For information on the at-home HIV test market, visit www.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.

In 1998, responding to the U.S. Surgeon General's order for public health departments (and other healthcare entities) to combat Hepatitis C (HCV), the company adapted its HIV platform and fast-tracked clinical trials and regulatory filings, resulting in an FDA approval for Home Access® Hepatitis C Check test service in 1999. HAHC markets its HCV test primarily through public health departments.

In 2007, the Company received FDA clearance for its complete Cholesterol Panel, a comprehensive laboratory test system that uses self-collected fingerstick blood to measure total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, Triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol. The accuracy levels of the Cholesterol Panel achieve the standards established by the National Cholesterol Education Program and the test method has been certified by the CDC-sponsored National Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network. The Cholesterol Panel has been approved by the American Diabetes Association as part of their CheckUp America program.

The Home Access FDA-approved test system for HIV-1 and Hepatitis C are sold directly to consumers without the need for physician intervention. (http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/hivtestkit012908.html). These tests are anonymous, include confirmatory testing, and access to the HAHC counseling center for results delivery, counseling, and referrals.

SOURCE Home Access Health Corporation