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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Local clinic offers HIV testing with rapid results

The Bryan-College Station Community Health Clinic introduced a newly approved, rapid HIV test in January that costs $25 and can give results in as little as 20 minutes.
The OraQuick Rapid HIV-1 Antibody test, manufactured in Pennsylvania, can detect antibodies that are fighting Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1, the HIV virus that causes infection.
Marla McClure, director of AIDS Services of Brazos Valley, said the OraQuick test is “99.9 percent accurate.”
“This test is just as accurate as a pregnancy test,” said Julie Charanza, HIV prevention case manager at the AIDS Services of Brazos Valley.
The new test is performed on a fingerstick sample of blood and can be stored at room temperature.
Unlike older versions of HIV tests, patients no longer have to wait two weeks or longer to get their results and are able to obtain the proper treatment earlier in the course of their infection to slow the progression of the disease, Charanza said.
HIV will not show up on the test if the patient has been exposed to the virus in the past 90 days. If exposure may have taken place more recently, a person should take the regular HIV test, Charanza said.
According to the official government Web site for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration approved OraQuick in November “for use in laboratories that perform moderate complexity testing.”
More than 100,000 laboratories across the United States are available for testing under a Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments waiver, according to www.hhs.gov.
The Community Health Clinic received the CLIA waiver in late January or early February, McClure said.
The state of Texas pays for the funding of OraQuick and, last month, began sending the kits to more laboratories, including the Community Health Clinic, Charanza said.
Cameron Roerig, a sophomore environmental
design major, said the new, quicker test is a great idea but may cost too much to affect a large part of the population.
“I do feel that the price of the testing should be made cheaper for those who are at high risk but might not be able to afford it,” he said. “The fee of $25 might discourage those who need it the most from getting tested.”

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