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 Rapid Oral HIV Test Shows Promise

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Registration date : 2007-09-19

PostSubject: Rapid Oral HIV Test Shows Promise   Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:57 pm

Rapid Oral HIV Test Shows Promise




MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA -- April 12, 2007 -- A convenient, easy
to use, and rapid alternative to blood-based HIV testing may become the
new standard for field testing according to a new study. The study
shows that the oral fluid-based OraQuick HIV1/2 test is 100% accurate
and patients' preferred choice.



Senior and lead author Nitika Pai, MD, MPH, a postdoctoral fellow at
the McGill University Health Centre, and her colleagues tested 450
individuals for HIV infection at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of
Medical Sciences in Sevagram India. Thirty two percent were found to be
HIV positive. Researchers compared the diagnostic accuracy of the
OraQuick test from two samples - one obtained from saliva and the other
from a blood-based finger stick - with traditional blood tests. They
demonstrated that the oral fluid test had 100% accuracy versus the
finger-stick blood test, which showed one false positive (99.7%
specificity). There was little reported discomfort during sample
collection for the oral test, but 66% of the individuals reported
discomfort with the finger testing.



Although the oral OraQuick test has been approved by the FDA, some
previous studies had indicated that it was not sufficiently precise. As
a result, the CDC called for more definitive studies leading to this
study in rural India.



"Based on our findings, the oral test is the preferred choice for HIV
field testing by rural Indians," says Pai, a physician epidemiologist
supported by the Canadian HIV Trials Network. "The other advantages are
that results are available within 40 minutes compared to the standard
blood test, which takes up to two weeks. This test can also be
performed by health workers with minimal training, eliminating the need
for specialist laboratory technicians."



"Rapid point of care HIV testing is a very important component of HIV
control initiatives and programs. In particular, non-invasive, simple,
accurate oral fluid-based, rapid tests have the potential to make a big
impact on HIV screening. They open the door to the possibility of
home-based HIV testing," she says.
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