The Acceptability of Oral Fluid Testing for HIV Antibodies: A Pilot Study in Gay Bars in a Predominantly Rural State

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One barrier for individuals desiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing has been the lack of alternatives to blood HIV testing. Oral fluid HIV testing provides another testing option.


To evaluate the acceptability of oral fluid testing for HIV antibodies in a gay bar outreach setting.

Study Design:

This pilot study was conducted using the HIV Risk Behavior Survey (HRBS) and OraSure acceptability survey in gay bars in Columbia, South Carolina during July and August, 1997.


Of the 118 HRBS participants, 54% agreed to take the oral fluid test with 6% testing positive. A majority (91%) of participants felt comfortable with the oral HIV antibody testing in gay bars. Also, 21.8% of individuals in the OraSure study were tested for the first time.


This study indicates that oral fluid testing for HIV antibodies in an outreach setting is acceptable and effective in reaching individuals who do not usually access traditional testing sites.

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