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New AIDS Virus Testing Reagent Enters Chinese Market

People are able to test whether they are infected with AIDS virus at home by using samples of urine or saliva, thanks to a kind of new AIDS reagent produced by Chinese enterprises.


Wang Youchun, an expert with the National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products, said at a recent AIDS forum held in Yichang, in central China's Hubei Province, that four Chinese enterprises have produced this kind of reagent.


"But the new reagent can not replace the traditional testing method using blood samples, as the accuracy of the new reagent is relatively low," Wang said.


Besides blood, AIDS virus can be tested in urine, saliva, tear, semen and vaginal secretion, said Wang.


Compared with traditional reagent, the new method is more safe and convenient, but not as accurate as the traditional one, Wang said.


If the test of the reagent is positive, more traditional tests of blood are also needed to confirm the result, Wang said.


The reagent is aimed at family use, and its price is higher than the traditional one, Wang added.


China had reported a total 144,089 people living with HIV by the end of last year, including 32,886 AIDS patients and 8,404 fatalities, according to China's Ministry of Health.


At least 650,000 people in China are estimated to be infected by HIV, many of whom, however, are still unaware of their situation, partly due to the lack of a testing service, experts say.


(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)

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