HIV point-of-care test to be rolled out soon

RAPID point-of-care testing for HIV will be introduced in Australia, though proponents say it will take at least a year to roll out.

The updated National HIV Testing Policy 2011, which calls for its use, was formally adopted by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections last week.

It sets out a process for TGA approval of a rapid test, as well as guidelines for use by GPs.

“One test is part way through its evaluation process with the TGA, and there’s another one that has just been lodged,” said Levinia Crooks, chief executive of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), which drafted the policy.

“If everything is moving smoothly… you’re looking at [its introduction] in at least 12 months.”

GP Dr David Baker of East Sydney Doctors said his clinic would offer the tests “as soon as they become available”.