The first over-the-counter HIV test has been approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), allowing Americans to test themselves for the virus that causes AIDS in the privacy of their homes.

The OraQuick test from Orasure has been created to detect the presence of HIV using a mouth swab within 20 minutes, Fox News reported.

Government officials estimate that around one-fifth, or about 240,000 people, of the 1.2 million HIV carriers in the US are not aware that they are infected. Testing is one of the main means of slowing new infections, which have held steady at about 50,000 per year for two decades.

The FDA has already approved other HIV test kits, which are also designed for home use, but those kits must be sent to a laboratory to be developed.

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