Is the oral fluid test reliable?

This test is certainly reliable. The reliability of the test result is guaranteed in groups with a prevalence of HIV (the proportion of people living with HIV in this group) that is above 1%. Contact us if you have doubts as to whether you are eligible to take a reliable test as part of this project. It is important to acknowledge that the HIV test using oral fluid is less accurate than the latest HIV tests using blood samples, certainly for recent risky sexual contacts (within the past three months). If you are worried about a contact that occurred less than three months ago, we advise you to take an HIV test using a blood sample.

How does one collect an oral fluid sample?

Take the swab out of the tube. Rub the swab over your upper and lower gums and the inside of your cheek for one minute. Don’t rub too hard, we do not need blood on the sample. Place the swab back in the tube. Try not to eat or drink anything for one hour prior to collecting the saliva. In theory, it could reduce the quality of the oral fluid sample.

Is this website sufficiently secured?

This website was specifically designed for this project. The security and privacy of the participants were the researchers’ main concern. All that is required to create an account is a phone number and an email address. You don’t need to provide your name or address. You are identified by your randomly generated sample code. The sample code is linked to your account. This enables us to ensure that you can only pick up your own result once you have logged into your account (with your personal email address and password) and entered the correct sample code. More information on privacy and security can be found here. More information on privacy and security

Why test for HIV using an oral fluid sample? I thought HIV wasn’t transmitted through saliva?

HIV is not transmitted through oral fluid / saliva. This test doesn’t detect HIV viruses in oral fluid. It detects antibodies in the saliva. These antibodies are produced by the immune system when the HIV virus is present in one’s blood.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a swab2know-test?

For each HIV-test, advantages and disadvantages can be identified. That is also the case for the swab2know test. Main advantages are the comfort for the participant, and the reliability of the test result. Some disaadvantages are the 'not-confirmed' test result, and the weaker relialibity of the test result for recent sexual risks. The test does not guarantee a reliable test result in case the participant is taking treatment for HIV-infection.
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