Main | Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Saliva HIV Test Found Accurate

A mouth swab for HIV has been found just as effective as a traditional blood screening.
Researchers from McGill University in Montreal said that their saliva HIV test OraQuick HIV 1/2 was 99 percent accurate for HIV in high-risk populations and about 97 percent in low-risk populations. The oral test works by detecting whether HIV antibodies are present in a person's oral fluid and gives a result within 20 minutes. "Testing is the cornerstone of prevention, treatment and care strategies," study leader Dr. Nitika Pant Pai said. "Although previous studies have shown that the oral fluid-based OraQuick HIV 1/2 test has great promise, ours is the first to evaluate its potential at a global level."
One researcher noted: "A confidential testing option such as self-testing could bring an end to the stigmatization associated with HIV testing." Some mental health experts have long advised against home HIV testing because of the danger of self-harm upon a positive result. That possibility, however, must be weighed against the greater good of widely expanded status knowledge.

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