Oral fluid tests for HIV are less sensitive than blood tests and more likely to miss recent infections, thanks to lower levels of viral antibodies in saliva compared with blood. Yet saliva tests, which are more practical and cheaper than blood tests, are commonly used to screen for HIV in public health settings where the use of needles may be unsafe or logistically difficult. These settings include jails, community-based organizations without certified phlebotomists on staff, and high schools and community colleges.
Abbasi J. Accurate HIV Spit Test on the Horizon. JAMA. 2018;319(10):972. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.2026
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