Oral swab test for HIV key to early diagnoses

Gay News Network
Cec Busby
Original Article:  bit.ly/1B20vIy

A trial of a rapid HIV screening test which uses an oral swab rather than a finger prick test to confirm results has proved popular amongst testees and encouraged researchers to suggest it may assist in increased uptake in testing for the virus.

The OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV -1/2 Antibody Test (ORT) was administered to 1074 Sydney men who have sex with men (MSM) and other people at high-risk aged over 18 years of age who attended eight public, private and community sites in 2013.

The ORT is a painless, simple two-step process that involves a swab from the mouth placed into a developer solution. Preliminary results are available in 20 minutes. It is important to note that the ORT is a screening test and does not replace the available diagnostic blood tests available in Australia.

The ORT is currently approved for clinical and home use in the US but is yet to approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.

According to news published in the Medical Journal of Australia the results of the trial confirmed the ORT is “both sensitive and specific” and also “highly acceptable to the patients”.

Three-quarters (74.0%) of the participants in the trial found the ORT less stressful than giving a conventional blood sample. Nearly all (99.2%) said they would have an ORT again and 99.4% said they would recommend ORT to their peers.

However, they were not asked whether having to pay for the test would affect their decision to be tested again.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1B20vIy