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Seropositive Rate Doubles With Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test


 

WASHINGTON — The first 1,000 uses of the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test in New Jersey identified nearly double the number of HIV-positive patients, compared with the traditional blood tests, Evan Cadoff, M.D., wrote in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine.

However, the data represent rates of seropositivity, not necessarily rates of new HIV infections, wrote Dr. Cadoff of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The test requires an oral fluid sample, and delivers results in 20-40 minutes.

Rapid testing in New Jersey began in November 2003 at publicly funded counseling and testing sites throughout the state. After the first 1,000 results, the seropositive rate increased to 4.72%, or double the 2.36% seropositive rate recorded with traditional testing during the previous year.

Overall, 63% of the people who tested positive had not previously been diagnosed with HIV. However, whether the numbers represent improved detection rates in previously targeted at-risk populations or new groups of patients who previously went untested remains uncertain, according to the poster.

The rapid availability of test results reduces the time between a patient's initial diagnosis and referral, bolstering HIV prevention and treatment efforts, Dr. Cadoff said.

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