Navy Plans To Test All Personnel Receiving Smallpox Vaccinations for HIV Using Rapid OraQuick Method
The U.S. Navy recently purchased 10,000 OraQuick rapid HIV tests to screen sealift command personnel before they receive smallpox vaccinations, the Bethlehem Express-Times reports. Smallpox vaccines can "cause complications" for people with immune deficiencies and should not be administered to HIV-positive individuals. OraQuick -- a "finger-stick blood test" manufactured by OraSure Technologies -- works to detect HIV antibodies in about 20 minutes and has a 99.6% accuracy rate, according to the FDA (Bethlehem Express-Times, 2/4). President Bush on Friday announced that HHS approved expanded availability for the test, allowing health care workers to use it in more than 100,000 doctors' offices and public health clinics across the country. The test, which was approved by the FDA in November 2002, previously was allowed to be used in only about 40,000 hospitals and clinics with laboratories (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.