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Do you have casual sex with multiple partners? Are you in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner? Do you think you are at risk of developing HIV? We encourage you to take our free HIV test. It’s very easy and only requires a bit of saliva.

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How does it work?

Swab2know is a new HIV-prevention project of the Institute of Tropical Medicine encouraging the use of free and anonymous HIV-tests.

For the Swab2know project, we use oral fluid (saliva) samples to perform the HIV-test. This new test was designed and validated at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, an official HIV-reference laboratory in Belgium. The test detects antibodies against HIV in the oral fluid.

More information and instructional video »

Privacy and security

This is a highly secured website. 

In the process of registration and ordering a sampling kit, some personal information is requested.
Your name and postal address are only used to send you a kit.
Your email address serves as a unique user on the website, and to inform you about your test result. We may also use your phone number for this purpose. If you don't pick up your result, we may contact you several times by phone. If you don't pick up your result after our attempts, we assume that you don't want to know your result.
All identifiable information in the database is saved encrypted, making it unreadable for others.
Answers to the questions in the survey are analysed anonymously.

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Recently exposed?

If you have recently been exposed to HIV, you can start a treatment with antiretroviral medication. This treatment may prevent you from becoming HIV-positive.

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FAQ

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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OTHER STI

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. It can be transmitted through penetrative sex, as well as through direct mucosal contact. Most of the infections with Chlamydia occur without obvious symptoms. Even without symptoms, Chlamydia can be transmitted through unprotected sex.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is an STI caused by the gonococcus bacteria. Through unprotected sexual contact, it may lead to a gonorrhoea-infection of the vagina, urethra, or throat. If untreated, Gonorrhoea may cause complications, such as reduced fertility, ectopic pregnancy, or infection of the child during delivery. Among men, inflammation of the epididymis or prostate may occur. .

Syphilis

Syphilis is a serious STI that is caused by a bacteria. The bacteria that causes syphilis lodges in the vagina, the penis or the rectum and sometimes in the mouth. The bacteria can later spread throughout the body via the blood. Treatment of Syphilis consists of several penicillin-injections.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver, caused by the Hepatitis B virus. This virus can be transmitted through direct contact of genital mucosa. Acute Hepatitis B infections clears spontaneously. Chronic Hepatitis B should be treated. Possible complications are liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus. Infection occurs through contact with infected blood, for example among injecting drug users, who use each other’s syringes. In recent years, sexual transmission of Hepatitis C is reported among a specific group of gay men living with HIV.

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