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Oral swab for HIV

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
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liand83 HB User
Oral swab for HIV


I recently had an oral swab HIV test done at a clinic where I live. I did not know it was a oral swab before going to the clinic and was smoking a cigarette as I walked up to the door. I was immediately taken to the back to be test and I informed the tester that I smoked before I came in and asked should we wait a few minutes.....she said "no, it will be fine". I said okay and swabbed my gums as she instructed me to. I got a negative result but learned from other places (health departments, HIV hotlines.....etc) that is suggested that you not eat, drink, or smoke 20 minutes prior to the test and 30 minute prior for oral care products. I called the clinic back and she stated that she was trained that smoking does not affect the test. Now I am confused and afraid that the cigarette affected the test in some way and my negative result are not really negative. Does anyone have any information on this. I am not understanding how one testing site can be trained that smoking does not affect the test but others are trained that it does. If it does not affect the test...then why do some places suggest that you shouldn't smoke 20 minutes prior to the test. Does anyone know how smoking would affect any antibodies if present? Can this test be tricked by anything...(i.e. cause a false negative). I have been doing some research and not one can seem to answer my question, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: England
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Apollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB UserApollo123 HB User
Re: Oral swab for HIV

Well the simple answer is that it cannot effect your test. HIV antibodys are either their or not, in other words you either have HIV or you dont. This test says your negative and its a tested used by millions every day and is FDA approved. If their was any issues then it would be clearly stated and unlikley to be used instead of a finger test which requires a small amount of blood.

The OraSure test doesn't use saliva. It uses an fluid called oral mucosal transudate, which lives in the cheeks and gums. Saliva has very little HIV in it, hence why they use mucosal transudate to get an accurate result. This will not be effected via smoking.

What and when was your risk?

Old 12-12-2012, 12:29 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
liand83 HB User
Re: Oral swab for HIV be honest, I have been sexually active for awhile and have only one known possible exposure that happened back in "08". It was a one time exposure condom breakage with ejaculation. We started out with a condom and I checked to see if the condom was there while we were having sex but when we finished the condom was gone. It was not inside me, on the floor, on the bed or anywhere. I asked him his status and he said he did not have anything but I started to have doubts about that sexual encounter and all the other ones I've had. So....not to be a pest but why did these other healthcare departments say that they were trained that you should not smoke 20 minutes prior to the test? Shouldn't HIV testing training be the same across the board? I agree with you stating that either you have the antibodies or you don't but I just figured that maybe they say that because maybe the chemicals from a cigarette can contaminate or dilute the antibodies or maybe the test can be tricked by the nicotine.If the nicotine did in fact interfere with the test (contaminate the sample) would I still get a result? I was just curious as to why they would say that? more thing, does this test know the difference between saliva and oral fluid. Say for instance someone did put just saliva on the test; would they get a negative or would the test know the difference? Thanks for your help

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