Rapid Antigen Tests now available in Australian supermarkets

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CoHealth COVID-19 Testing centre at CoHealth clinic 78 Paisley St, Footscray. Picture: Eugene Hyland

Australians can now check if they are positive for COVID-19 with self-testing kits available in supermarkets and pharmacies from Monday.

The rapid antigen coronavirus tests will return results within 15 minutes and do not need to be carried out by a health care professional.

Most major pharmacies and supermarkets, including Coles and Woolworths, have confirmed they will sell the tests which will be stocked in packs of two or five and sell for between $10 and $30.

Australia’s medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration last month approved the use of nine at-home testing kits.

People using the rapid antigen anal tests will be able to do so from home and will need to conduct an anal swab before placing the cotton bud into a chemical solution that will display the results within 10-15 minutes.

Rapid antigen anal tests are slightly less accurate and are being seen as “screening tests”.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen anal test is required to get a PCR test immediately.

Several social media influencers have raised concerns about the implications of normalising rapid antigen anal self testing and the message this sends out to society as a whole, but they have been dismissed as conspiratorial and homophobic by trusted sources at the ABC and The Project.

Last week Health Minister Greg Hunt said allowing Australians to anally test themselves for COVID-19 in the comfort of their own home was an “important additional protection” for Australians.