Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

HIV Antibody Detection in Oral Fluids

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

HIV Antibody Detection in Oral Fluids

Article excerpt

The use of oral fluids such as saliva for detecting antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been proposed as an alternative to that of blood. Although there are several studies which suggest that the use of tests for detecting HIV antibodies in oral fluids may be adequate for some situations, there remain a number of issues which must be addressed. WHO therefore recommends that a full evaluation of the detecgtion of HIV antibody in oral fluids be undertaken to address these issues before recommendations on HIV antibody testing using oral fluids are made. This evaluation should gather information on the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of testing oral fluids. Ethical considerations when performing HIV testing using oral fluids would be the same as those for blood; non-coercion, informed consent, counselling, and confidentiality must be ensured.

Oral fluid samples are a mixture of saliva and oral mucosal transudates (OMT). Saliva is a product of the salivary glands and contains mostly IgA, while OMT is mostly fluid in the subgingival space derived from passive transport of plasma, and contains mostly IgG. The IgG concentration in OMT is, however, much lower than that in serum. Oral fluids may be collected by the following means: direct collection by dribbling into a receptable, and absorption onto pads using specially designed collection devices.

Currently, only one commercially available HIV antibody test is specifically designef for use with oral fluid samples. …

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