A randomised controlled study of mouth swab testing versus same day blood tests for HIV infection in young people attending a community drug service.
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INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: This study was designed to determine whether providing an oral swab test in the community for blood borne virus testing leads to an increase in subsequent attendance for sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening at the STI clinic compared with making appointments for young people to attend the clinic for same day HIV testing and STI screening. DESIGN AND METHODS: Participants were randomised into either the oral swab test group or the blood test group of the trial if eligible. RESULTS: All the 27 participants in the oral swab test group were tested for HIV and hepatitis C compared with five for HIV and two for hepatitis C in the blood test group (P < 0.001). Only two of the 27 participants in the blood test group were tested for hepatitis B compared with 25 in the oral swab test group (P < 0.001). Nine participants in the oral swab test group attended the STI clinic for STI screening compared with three in the blood test group (P = 0.09). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: An oral swab test in the community for blood borne virus testing leads to an increase in the number of young high-risk people tested for blood borne infections and is associated with a trend towards higher rates of subsequent attendance for STI screening.