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Magic Johnson Partners: Orasure's OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is available in stores
  Published: Tuesday, October 09, 2012, 9:36 AM


Magic Johnson launches in-home HIV test and opens up about his fight with HIV

Earvin "Magic" Johnson had his career cut short when he was diagnosed with HIV 22 years ago. At the time, very few people went public with the virus.

The impact of the announcement was huge. Since then, Magic has found a new life as a successful entrepreneur and advocate. And his latest project combines both of those things.

He's partnered with Orasure and is now a spokesperson to find a more convenient way for people to confirm their HIV status. The oral swab test can detect HIV antibodies in just 20 minutes.

Magic Johnson Partners With OraSure on HIV ... - Fox Business Video

OraSure CEO Douglas Michels on the company's partnership with Magic Johnson

The OraQuick test is designed to return a result in 20 to 40 minutes. Positive test results won't show until about three months after possible infection.

Orasure Technologies Inc.'s OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is available as of today at retailers nationwide, according to a news release from the Bethlehem company.

"For the first time ever, individuals now have access to an in-home rapid oral HIV test - the same test health care professionals have used and trusted for years - that will empower them to learn their HIV status in the comfort and privacy of their own home," CEO Doug Michels said in a statement. "This is a tremendous breakthrough in our fight against HIV and AIDS."

Orasure will provide 24/7 support by phone at 866-436-6527 to answer questions about the test and more general information about HIV/AIDS, the release states. The product website will provide more resources, the company said.

The test is available at CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, according to the website.

Michels said the company, which is enlisting celebrities such as Magic Johnson to promote OraQuick, shipped the test to retailers on Sept. 28.

OraSure estimates the retail market for an at-home rapid HIV test to be valued at more than $500 million. The company hasn't projected how the test will impact future sales, but Michels said once a track record is established, those trends will be factored in the company's revenue and earnings guidance.

Michels said OraSure has added consumer marketing positions to promote the product and, pending results, hopes to add more positions, including manufacturing jobs at its Bethlehem headquarters.

"We're very excited that the product is broadly available," Michels said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July approved the in-home version of OraQuick, which detects HIV antibodies in 20 to 40 minutes through oral samples obtained via mouth swab.

The test is already available at doctors' offices, hospitals and professional settings, where it can also be used on blood samples.

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