HIV Tests Soon to be Available on USB Chips

New USB HIV detection device allows patients to monitor virus levels in blood themselves with 95% accuracy.

HIV Test / Photo: Engadget
HIV Test / Photo: Engadget

A November 11th Denver Post article told of a revolutionary HIV test that comes on a USB drive. A team of scientists at the Imperial College London and DNA Electronics developed the disposable device that takes a drop of blood and measures the amount of the virus present before transmitting the information to a laptop or other device. It differs from the take-home test kit for HIV in that the kit tells you if you’re infected, not the amount of amount of the virus present in your body. This information is useful for those infected with the virus because it allows them to self-monitor the virus to determine if their medication is working or if it’s time to move on to something else.

The USB test takes about 20 minutes with 95% accuracy. “At the moment, testing often requires costly and complex equipment that can take a couple of days to produce a result. We have taken the job done by this equipment, which is the size of a large photocopier, and shrunk it down to a USB chip,” said Grahame Cooke, a clinician scientist in Imperial’s Department of Medicine.

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