HIV rapid test’s lack of sensitivity outweighed by increased testing

Associate Professor Mark A Stoové from the Burnet Institute in Melbourne told delegates at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference 2013 in Darwin today that more than 80% of gay men would be "likely" or "very likely" to have a rapid POC test. 

The study of 274 men showed that the 47% who were "very likely" to attend for a POC test were around three times as likely as other respondents to want after-hours testing, and to perceive their HIV testing frequency as inadequate.

Mr Philip Cunningham, a senior scientist at the NSW State Reference Laboratory for HIV, said POC testing was not as sensitive as laboratory testing, particularly in recently infected individuals.

"I think there is a growing number of people saying that point-of-care testing has the potential to change people’s testing behaviour, so we know that the point-of-care tests are less sensitive but does that really matter if people are having one, two, three or four tests per