BROOKLYN - Brooklyn residents may soon be able to test themselves for HIV from the privacy and comfort of their own home.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel is recommending an over-the-counter HIV test, calling it both safe and effective. The panel says benefits of the OraQuick in-home test far outweigh any potential risks.

If the panel's recommendation is approved, the test will become the first of its kind for HIV or any other infectious disease. According to the city's Department of Health, more than 27,000 Brooklyn residents are living with HIV or AIDS.