If you’ve never witnessed this in life, you must have at least in a movie, or perhaps even heard about it…if not watch this quickly…
Pregnancy tests are imbibed into the core of our western culture. It’s a quick and easy way by which a couple finds out whether they’d be welcoming new life (in the best case scenario). And sometimes, not the best case scenario, a gentleman/lady awaits the verdict of a night of not fully thought out choices – From this strip, often lie the + or – of what it seems to be their exoneration or their death sentences.
Perhaps, most would agree with me that the most agonizing/exhilarating moment depending on whom you ask, is the waiting period. NOW, for just one second, imagine you, guy or gal, weren’t awaiting the + or – for a baby, and that you were testing for AIDS….yourself… Crank up the nerv-o-meter.
This is what scientist researchers at Columbia University realized: a lab-on-a-chip, the size of a credit card, to test oneself of some diseases, including , the “big one” AIDS. Their report was recently published in Nature- medicine.
Asst. Professor Sia’s group at Columbia developed a simple to use, microfluidic device, for all practical purposes that utilizes the same principle as a pregnancy test. Although its aim was set out to develop it for countries where testing is not so readily available, this research has potential to revolutionize sexual interactions all together. (Huge Ethical issues).
I am a firm believer that proper diagnostic is an important part if not the most important in the treatment and eradication of a disease. Medicine has undertaken a trend to empowering more so ever the patient. This could be a major step in that trend, where proper protection starts with self.
Many Questions arise : Will this test, in any way shape or form contribute to removing/or worsening the stigma associated with some STDs.
…As well as many ethical ones which I’d rather not indulge into, at least in this post :). Regardless, Knowing is better than not knowing…The risk is in not knowing.