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CDC gives grants to improve HIV testing

Category: HIV

In an effort to make effective HIV testing more available to local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently administered a round of grants to help cities and towns pay for a new testing service.

The service involves testing blood for proteins, or antigens, produced by HIV cells. This method can detect an infection days earlier than current testing methods, which generally look for antibodies created by the body in response to an infection.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health was recently awarded $1.5 million through the program, and officials plan to make the test available first to high risk groups, like gay men and transgender individuals, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

"We will be able to find people who are acutely infected that after being tested would have left the site thinking they are negative when they are not," said Terri Dowling, director of HIV testing for the HIV prevention section for the Department of Public Health, as quoted by the news source.

The antigen test was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration after several years of positive results in European countries.

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