Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New mouth swab HIV test delivers results in 20 minutes

  • Comment

Doctors at a London hospital hope to carry out around 250 HIV tests a month using a new mouth swab that can produce a result within 20 minutes.

The test, available on the NHS for the first time, will be used in Barts and The London NHS Trust after trials demonstrated that the swab was as accurate as a blood test.

The mouth swab has also proven popular with patients, with 75% stating they prefer the new method to the blood sample, which took a week to return results after analysis.

A special absorbent toothbrush is used to collect saliva samples from the mouth, before delivering the result in 20 minutes.

‘Making testing for HIV quicker and easier is a real step towards getting people to test sooner,’ said Merie Symonds, head of sexual health at the trust.

‘As this test doesn’t require us to take blood or send samples to a laboratory, we can begin to look towards testing outside traditional clinical areas.’

Gay and bisexual men, as well as those from areas of high HIV prevalence, are being offered the new test.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.