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 Need to purchase point of care HIV testing kits(rapid bedside HIV testing kit). 
 Can anyone tell me some brands that they use and are happy with.
 Does it make a difference which testing kit is used? Do they all have the
same sensitivity and specificity? Is blood always better than mucous membrane swabs?
 Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks you.
 Shahin Shirzad, MD


Asfawesen Gebreyohannes Woldegiorgis
Replied at 3:44 AM, 26 Feb 2013

Consult the national guideline where you will be doing the testing. National programs do recommend selected types of RTK based on their validation studies. The sensitivity and specificify of many of the Rapid Test Kits (RTKs) is greater than 99% . The sensitivity of urine and saliva is similar to that of blood/plasma based test. For the saliva based RT special cotton swab is required. Any of the tests require a confirmatory second test either other RTK ( usually in high prevalence setting) or Western Blot Assay

Violet Chaka
Replied at 1:46 PM, 26 Feb 2013

Dear Shahin,

I have experience with Determine, Unigold, Clearview Complete, Capillus, Oraquik over a period of 10 years in 2 countries (Zimbabwe, Namibia). In both countries the Parallel testing algorithm is used: A sample is tested using 2 different kits/tests at the same time. If the results of both tests are the same, there is no need need for further testing. But if the 2 results are discordant, then we proceed to a third test, known as the Tiebreaker- and this result of the tiebreaker will be the final result.
As Asfawesen mentioned, most test kits recommended by WHO/ CDC have sensitive and specificity greater than 99%. These vary from one test kit to the other.

I hope this helps,


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