Find out your HIV status using your smartphone

By Drum Digital
04 February 2015

Finding out one's HIV status may be done in the comfort of one's own home and on their mobile.

Finding out one's HIV status may take about 15 minutes and all you need is a smartphone, this is according to researchers from the Columbia University in New York.

In an article published in the Science Translational Medicine journal, the researchers tested an external, portable device called a dongle that you can connect to a smartphone that will help detect the pathogens associated with HIV/AIDS and other STDs such as syphilis.

A disposable cassette with chemicals that will react with one's small blood sample and identify the viral pathogens will need to be used in conjunction with the dongle in order for one's status to be successfully relayed.

The smartphone then displays the result to the user.

This new age rapid test has been tested on subjects who volunteered to be part of the process in Rwanda and it has proven to be as successful as a traditional HIV test, it's ability to test for STDs at the same time also made it a success in testing.

Drum columnist, Bra Mo finds this discovery to be amazing as it illustrates not only how technology has advanced and but also encourages taking care of one's self.

"This will surely help people understand and be more conscious as well as more interested in their sexual health," Mo says.

"Though it must be said, it will be a little freaky if someone wanted to prick you without you having the knowledge of what this gadget does," he adds jokingly.

If introduced, the dongle will be a confidential, simple and convenient way of finding out one's status but simple skills will need to be implemented in order for everyone to make use of it effectively.

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