[This article was inspired by the lively discussion and debate on IRMA’s highly active moderated listserv for its members. Interested in signing up? Send IRMA a note at rectalmicro@gmail.com.]

Attempts to overly mediate how I receive information about my body amount to little more than a paternalistic view of what I can handle.

via aidsmap, by Roger Pebody

This week the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, which will be sold over the counter and used without medical supervision, received its final approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meaning that it can be legally sold in the United States. Similar approvals may follow for other countries. But who is likely to use it and in what circumstances? And will the increased accessibility of HIV testing make any difference to the epidemic?

Whereas French research suggests that men who are secretive about their homosexual behaviour will have a particular interest in home testing, a study from New York indicated that some gay men will use it to test sexual partners, sometimes as a prerequisite for unprotected sex. And a rich discussion between HIV prevention advocates and researchers, which recently took place on the email forum of International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA), highlighted the key issue of whether people who test positive at home will subsequently connect with health services. While some participants had concerns about the potential for coercion and abuse, others felt that home testing could increase choice and autonomy.

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