The arm of a woman is seen as she takes a test on HIV by a nurse at the Condesa Clinic on World AIDS Day in Mexico City December 1, 2011. Condesa Clinic is specialized in the care of patients with HIV/AIDS.
Credits: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
Researchers from McGill University in Montreal and Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., along with others, conducted a so-called meta-analysis, comparing data from previous studies conducted all over the world.
They found that the OraQuick HIV1/2 saliva test is 99% accurate for diagnosing HIV in high-risk populations, and about 97% in low-risk populations.
"Getting people to show up for HIV testing at public clinics has been difficult because of visibility, stigma, lack of privacy and discrimination. A confidential testing option such as self-testing could bring an end to the stigmatization associated with HIV testing," said Dr. Nitika Pant Pai, the study's lead author.
Pant Pai's work is supported by a Grand Challenges Canada Rising Star in Global Health award. The findings were published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
No saliva self-tests are currently authorized for home use in Canada.