The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Please, Please answer!!!!!

Oct 7, 2012


I have asked this question I am still confused and really scared. I had an Oral HIV 1/2 test a few weeks ago. This was after two possible exposures one 8 years ago and one 4 years ago. The test came back negative!!!! My concern is with how the test was administered. I have read that the way the test is supposed to be done is by swabbing the upper and lower gum once. The lady that administered my test instructed me to swab my upper gum back and forth once and my lower gum back and forth once and around my outer gum area twice. I began to become paranoid once I learned of the way that you are supposed to do it. I called the clinic back and they tester explained to me that she was trained and certified to administer the test and that is the way she was trained "to get a good sample". She went on to explain that is the test was not done properly then the "c" line would not have appeared on the test. That eased my mind a little bit but still left me confused as to why the Orasure website would say to do it one way but train people to do it another way.

I started to wonder if the way that she had me swab my gums somehow contaminated or diluted the specimen and rendered a false result. I started to question with all that swabbing, could I have accidentally touched my teeth or a place in my mouth that I wasn't supposed to? I called the manufacturer myself and they were not much help AT ALL. I even got different answers from them. I am really scared at this point, it took me so long to get the nerve to go and get tested and now I am still left scared and unsure because of someones training or lack there of. I am not in anyway doubting the accuracy of the test. I do not believe that a test would be allowed to be widely used if it was not safe or accurate. It just seems that after reading so many forums on this test that everyone administers that test differently which in my opinion leaves great room for error. I hope that you can answer my question. It seems that the people one this forum are very knowledgeable and have great experience dealing with these situations. Thank you for your help

1. Could excess swabbing of the gum are render a false result? 2. If the specimen was contaminated or diluted in any way, would you still get a result? 3. If the swab did just so happen to accidentally hit my teeth or cheek while swabbing would this compromise the test or would the test render an invalid test result and not a negative?

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

1. If the test was compromised, the test result would likely read as indeterminate. Also, I would not consider what you described to be excess swabbing.

2. You would likely get an indeterminate result. This would be cause for an immediate retest.

3. The tests are not that sensitive. Grazing your tooth accidentally would not be enough to compromise the test. However, if the test was compromised, it would likely read as indeterminate.

Bottom line: I would trust the result of the test. Another option is to go in for another test. I am confident the result would be negative as well. Good luck.

In health,


Sombody Please Answer!!!
HIV transmission through Oral/Anal Teasing

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint