Scientists unveil a new and simplified HIV test that involves a quick gum swab
A swab for HIV antibodies with OraQuick by OraSure Technologies is a new progressive way of HIV testing that no longer involves invasive blood analysis.
OraQuick absorbs antibodies directly from the blood vessels in the mucous membranes of the mouth and is a non-invasive procedure which can be easily performed in private at home.
‘Getting people to show up for HIV testing at public clinics has been difficult because of visibility, stigma, lack of privacy and discrimination,’ says Dr Nikita Pant Pai, leader of the study at McGill University, Quebec, Canada.
‘A confidential testing option such as self-testing could bring an end to the stigmatization associated with HIV testing.’
The study’s research found that OraQuick was 99 per cent accurate in populations with a high risk of HIV, and 97 per cent accurate in populations with a lower risk.
‘To ensure that HIV positive individuals who take the oral test seek the necessary medical help, self-testing must be accompanied by linkage to care to achieve good health outcomes,’ warns the study’s co-author Dr Rosanna Peeling, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
OraQuick is a sticklike device providing results in just 20 minutes.