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Atlanta clinics
report no problems with rapid HIV tests

Atlanta clinics
report no problems with rapid HIV tests

Although HIV clinics in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City have reported an unacceptable number of false-positive results from the OraQuick oral rapid HIV antibody test, three Atlanta agencies providing testing say they haven't experienced similar problems, the Southern Voice reports.

"We've certainly not had any major problems with the oral test and have had minimal false positives," Michael Banner, director of prevention services at Our Common Welfare, told the Voice. "But we've decided to go back to the finger-prick test until we get a definitive answer from OraSure."

The OraQuick Advance rapid HIV test can use oral fluids collected by a swab, blood from a needle-stick, or blood drawn by a syringe to screen for HIV antibodies and produce results in about 20 minutes. The reports of high numbers of false-positive results are linked only with the oral tests and not those that examine blood, health officials say.

Officials at Atlanta AIDS groups the AIDS Survival Project and AID Atlanta also report no abnormally high numbers of false-positive results. At AID Atlanta, only about one false-positive result occurs out of every 800 to 900 tests given, officials say.

OraSure Technologies, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are all investigating the high numbers of false-positive results seen in clinics in New York and California--and why the problem hasn't cropped up in other major U.S. cities. (

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