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At-home infectious disease testing: An idea whose time has come

Amesh A. Adalja
Date posted:
October 13, 2022
Publication type:
Antimicrobial Stewardship & Healthcare Epidemiology
Cambridge University Press
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A hallmark of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in its current stage is the ubiquity of home diagnostic testing for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). These tests have been touted for their varied uses to facilitate navigating a world in which SARS-CoV-2 is an ever-present consideration. Apart from HIV at-home testing, COVID-19 is one of the only conditions that can be tested for at home with an almost immediate result. At-home infectious diseases testing has gained significant momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic given the myriad cascading positive benefits the technology offers. Currently, plans for home influenza and RSV tests are underway, as well as tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These efforts began before the pandemic and have only accelerated as COVID-19 home tests have demonstrated their value. Here, I discuss how at-home infectious disease tests can be harnessed to optimize individual treatment outcomes and positively influence public health efforts. I have explored many of these themes in a prepandemic report,1 and the ensuing years have concretized many of the theoretic benefits.



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