Plan for primary care rapid HIV test

GPs could soon be offering point-of-care HIV tests if the Federal Government accepts a call from sexual health experts.

A review of Australia’s policy on HIV testing, backed by the RACGP, supports the use of tests capable of indicating a person’s infection status “in the clinic within 20 minutes”.

The introduction of a mouth-swab or other rapid-result test would follow similar moves in the US and UK in response to concern over shifting patterns of HIV transmission and late diagnosis. 

The Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) is writing the revised policy, with stakeholder input, and it is undergoing a final round of consultation this month ahead of its submission to an Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Committee.

The draft recommends the TGA oversee the selection of a rapid HIV test suited to primary care, as well as training, and guidelines confining the test’s use to “appropriate