This is my first post here.....so please bare with me. I will try to sum this up as briefly as possible. I had two possible exposures....one was nine years ago and one was four years ago, the status of both partners is unknown. I decided after so many years after dealing with my fears, I decided to go an geame and got me tested. The free clinic that I went to offered the Oral Rapid HIV 1/2 test. I explained to the counselor prior to taking the test that I was very nervous and asked if I could smoke a cigarette...she said yes. A few minutes later she came an got me and we went into her office. She instructed me to swab my upper gum back and forth once, lower gum once back and forth and my outer gum area twice. She put the swab in the solution....twenty minutes later the test came back NEGATIVE!!!!!
The counselor wrote my results down and I went home. When I got home I started feeling very weird....so I decided to do a little research. I read and heard so many different things about this test....my head is spinning. I read that the accuracy of this test are anywhere from 85% to 99.8% percent accurate. I have read about the many different ways that everyone is instructed to swab their gums. I have read studies where the test was not accurate detecting antibodies in people with early infection or late infection. I have read different things that you should not do before taking this test. I called Orasure and they informed me that smoking does not effect the test....but when I asked them about the correct method of the test, they said that they could not comment on that because they were not there to see how the test was administered. I called the clinic back and the counselor stated that the test was done properly and that she was trained that way.
Now my issue is...why would Orasure have set of instruction on their website but train the clinics to perform the test differently. At this point I am literally losing my mind. I keep questioning:
1. Why is there no concrete information as far as accuracy of this test?
2. Why are there so many different methods that people administer this test?
3. What is there was either not enough or no specimen on the test swab at all, would you still get a result?
4. What if the counselor caused me to contaminate the specimen by having me swab to much, would this affect the results?
5. Do all infected individuals have antibodies in their oral fluid and are they always there and detectable at any stage of infection given the fact that they have not received any antiviral treatment?
I am sorry that I have so many questions and I am truly greatful for my negative result. I just want to move one with my life and don't want to have to worry anymore. Thank you all for listening
The Orasure test is only less than 100% accurate before 3 months after exposure. After 3 months it's 100% accurate. Administering the test is not rocket science, anyone with minimal training can do it correctly.
I think the more pressing concern for you is why you are looking for ways to be infected after you've tested negative.
Thank you for your reply! I AM NOT any way shape form or fashion trying to be infected with anything AT ALL!!! I am just trying to get information on the test and it's accuracy and the correct way it is supposed to be performed. I understand that it does not take a rocket scientist to perform the test but instructions are put in place for a reason and it seems that the counselor did not follow them according to the website. I just wanted to know if they way you swab your gums has an affect on the test?
The key information for you to focus on is that your gums were in fact swabbed and you tested negative. If the test was sensitive to 'technique' the FDA wouldn't allow it on the market.
You've obviously been doing a lot of reading on the internet and it is fueling anxieties that you had going into the test. You're anxiety is causing you to focus on things that feed your fears. The more you search the more the doubt is going to grow.
If you can't accept your result, then just have a regular blood test. It will be negative and put your fears to rest.
I did in fact swab my gums so I have no worries with that. I guess my fear is....I really do not understand the test. I mean like I asked before...are antibodies present in the mouth of all infected people no matter at what stage they are in of infection? Maybe because the counselor really did not give me any counseling on the test and it left me wondering for myself. I understand that the internet can spike a whole of fears and some of the information is not accurate...but I tend to focus on studies that are done, which could be outdated. My possible exposures condom break and my last boyfriend removed the condom with my knowledge or permission. I did not find out until I found out I was pregnant.....I terminated the pregnancy. I am trying to get up the nerve for a blood test but me the waiting part is what would drive insane. I am trying to fine a place that does free rapid blood test...but there are not many. Also, the sight and smell of blood...makes me sick. The last time I had a physical...they checked my thyroid with a blood test and I passed out as the lady was drawing my blood.
I guess my fear is....I really do not understand the test. I mean like I asked before...are antibodies present in the mouth of all infected people no matter at what stage they are in of infection? .
that is correct
those antibodies are produced the moment you get infected
they will reproduce to a detectable level in a matter of days
up to a couple of weeks at most for most people...
the oral tests are very sensitive and accurate
enough where you should not have any doubts about them.
Thank you both for your answers. I am staring to feel a little better, I have actually been seeking mental health about the issues as well as my issues with trust and anxiety. It is not helping much but I am definitely trying. To sum it up one last time....just for reassurance. The two of you are saying that if I was infected four years ago or even eight years ago....then the antibodies would have been detected by the oral test correct? Again....thank you all for your time