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Is Oraquick Saliva Test Reliable
Sep 23, 2005

Dr. Bob,

First, let me thank you for the wonderful work that you do on these forms. I have spent many hours reading them to help calm myself and find answers. Your honesty & humor is comforting I am sure to many. Again,thanks. My problem is had frottage with a stripper and have been worried sick ever since. I think some vaginal secretions might have got inside. Any ways I took the Oraquick saliva test at 3,4,5 & 6 weeks. I do this as it helps me get through another week. I am quite confused though as the girl at the clinic said to me at my 6 week test it takes the virus longer to show up in the saliva than in the blood.She acted like I was wasting my time but yet still took my money for a test even when I told her how many weeks it had been. Therefore any hope I had is now crushed. But the other lady at the clinic felt at my 5 week test I could come back to re-test only if I wanted. She said the tests are very accurate. What is your take on this Oraquick saliva & its reliability. Is it every bit as good besides a dna test in picking up the virus. Also, its not checking your saliva but rather the mucus beetween your gums ? Am I correct ? Can I somewhat feel comforted at a 6 week negative. I have read many different things, even on this site recently regarding 6 week testing. I have truly made myself sick over all this worrying and symptoms I think I have.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Actually, "saliva test" is somewhat of a misnomer. The lab tech actually is removing particles form the inside of your cheek, not from your spit. The test actually detects antibodies that the body creates in response to HIV, rather than the actual HIV virus itself. The sensitivity and specificity of OraQuick tests exceed 99%. A negative six-week test is encouraging, but not definitive. The same three-month "window period" applies to this oral fluid test as to blood tests.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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