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Support Growing for HIV Testing in Australian Dental Clinics

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HIV testing

Clinicians can test for rapid HIV by searching for HIV antibodies in a person's body by testing their blood or oral fluids. A finger prick or a saliva swab can be collected for the test, with results in as little as 20 minutes. 

The Australian government announced that it lifted the restrictions previously put on rapid HIV testing. The testing kits can now be manufactured and sold as take-home kits.

"Dentists are well placed to offer rapid HIV testing because they're located throughout the community, have ongoing relationships with their patients, and have the necessary training and expertise to recognise systemic diseases that have oral manifestations, such as HIV/AIDS," lead author Dr. Anthony Santella said. "If rapid HIV testing was widely available in dental settings it could help to reduce the spread of the virus by informing people who aren't aware that they are HIV-positive.?

Of those surveyed, 76% preferred an oral saliva swab, 15% preferred a pin prick test, and 8% preferred a traditional blood test to be tested for the rapid HIV testing.

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