Magic Johnson Endorses At-Home Rapid HIV Test

By Jay Jordan

HIV-positive former NBA star Magic Johnson has publicly endorsed the recently FDA approved at-home HIV test called OraQuick. Johnson, who first announced his HIV-positive status in 1991, has since worked as an ambassador for HIV and AIDS prevention and an advocate for people living with HIV.

OraQuick, produced by the pharmaceutical company OraSure, is the first FDA-approved rapid HIV test and offers test results in 20 minutes rather than in days. It can be found at major pharmacies including Walgreens and Walmart and online at the OraQuick website. The product uses a mouth swab to detect HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies in oral fluid.

The at-home OraQuick test will be a win for more HIV testing and earlier diagnosis, but it is not perfect. FDA staff has said that it would produce one false-negative result for every 13 true-positive tests. As with tests administered at a doctor’s office, OraQuick recommends users test again three months after exposure, as HIV antibodies may take up to three months to show up in the blood.