Self-testing HIV kits will go on sale in France next year under a strategy aimed at reducing the spread of the virus causing AIDS, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Thursday.

In-home tests will be available "for people who do not want to go to testing centres or hospitals" to learn about their HIV status, she told a parliamentary committee.

Self-testing kits use a drop of blood from a finger or a swab sample from the mouth to detect antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), usually delivering a result within 30 minutes.

France recorded 6,100 new infections of HIV in 2011.

Up to 40,000 people in France may have the AIDS virus but not be aware of it, according to official estimates.

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