USB Stick Can Accurately Test HIV

Posted: Nov 10 2016, 8:44am CST | by , Updated: Nov 10 2016, 8:47am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
USB Stick Can Accurately Test HIV
USB stick that tests for HIV. Credit: Imperial College London / DNA Electronics
  • You Can Now Perform HIV Test on a USB Stick

Finally, an HIV test has been made possible by simply using a USB stick.

Science truly knows no limits. Limits, as they say, exist only in the mind. In reality there are no limits, only plateaus. Scientists have now built a USB stick that tests whether you have HIV or not. This is a revolutionary invention.

The contraption employs a drop of blood to find out whether the AIDS virus is present in it or not. The complex electronic signals generated by this special USB stick allow for the relevant information to be deciphered by a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Can things get more convenient than this?

This test could come in handy for HIV patients who want to monitor their terminal illness. Especially, now that we are as close as we have ever possibly been to a vaccine for AIDS, this test is crucial.

Also patients who exist in far off locations can benefit immensely from this device. The gadget is not only very efficient but can deliver results in as little as half an hour, according to a new research, published in the journal Scientific Reports.

This technology gauges the virus in the bloodstream of the patient so that he or she can better monitor the progress of his or her treatment over time.

At present most AIDS tests take up to three days to be completed. Sometimes they take an even longer time which is very inconvenient. Blood samples have to be sent to a lab.

Many underdeveloped parts of the globe lack labs to test for HIV. At present retroviral treatments can take the amount of viruses in the blood of AIDS patients to virtually zero levels.

Yet here is the rub since the medicine may stop working. That is because that particular HIV strain may develop a resistance to the drugs.

Thus the virus again starts multiplying in the cells. Also checking for the virus on a regular basis is an excellent way of keeping track of the fact whether the patient is taking his or her medicine or not.

Besides this, routine tests never tell exactly what the nature of the virus may be so they are for all purposes defunct. With HIV treatment showing progress over the past generation or so, this USB stick is the latest welcome addition to the palliative measures against the nasty disease.

The technology will come in handy in Sub-Saharan Africa where AIDS is such a common occurrence even today when the main tide of the fatal illness has passed with the passage of time.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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