Self-test HIV kit goes on sale in Irish pharmacies

The device takes a pinprick sample of blood

Self-test HIV kit goes on sale in Irish pharmacies

The autotest VIH product | Image: Mylan Ireland

A new self-test HIV detection kit has gone on sale over-the-counter in Irish pharmacies.

Autotest VIH can detect HIV antibodies in 15 minutes.

It can be purchased without a prescription by people over the age of 18.

It is a medical device for home use, which takes a pinprick sample of blood.

Each kit comes with an information leaflet and contact information for the GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health and HIV) helpline.

Owen McKeon is country manager for Mylan Ireland, the company behind the device.

He said: "Ireland becomes our fourth market to launch in, following already successful launches in France, Italy and Spain.

"Over the coming months, we will be working with HIV patient organisations to increase awareness of the importance of early testing, and how tools like our self-testing kit, as well as taking a proactive approach to your health, can help in the fight against the spread of HIV."

HIV diagnoses in Ireland have increased within the last decade, particularly since 2011.

There were 508 new diagnoses of HIV in Ireland in 2016, according to figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

This is a slight increase from 483 cases in 2015, but a 43.9% from 2006 when 353 cases were reported.