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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Briefings: Testing for HIV in Urine
Holden, Constance
July 13, 1990
Science (07/13/90) Vol. 249, No. 4965, P. 121

Several companies, including Abbott Laboratories, DuPont, Wellcome Diagnostics, and Calypte Biomedical, have produced new tests to screen for HIV in urine that would make the procedure much easier, especially for developing countries with scarce medical facilities. The tests screen for HIV in urine, eliminating the need for trained medical personnel who can draw blood. None of the tests has won approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but data presented at the Sixth International Conference on AIDS appeared promising. Wellcome's test kit was the least reliable, with 14 false positives from 325 negatives and 37 false negatives from 452 positives. Abbott's test fared better, finding 4 false positives in 236 negative samples and 26 false negatives in 330 positive samples. Calypte's test had 7 false positives from 931 low-risk samples and no false negatives, making it the best candidate. A successful urine test could be incorporated into an HIV home test kit, according to Calypte president Howard Urnovitz.