A study based in four different settings in London found that by testing people (regardless of their risk profile) for HIV.  The HINTS study was conducted between August 2009 and September 2010, in an A and E dept, inpatients dept, a skin conditions clinic, and a large GP practice.

The study found 1.95 new cases for every 1,000 patients tested – most of them were in A and E.  The study used saliva to test for HIV, and repeated all positive tests with a blood test.  The study found a significant number of false positives with the saliva test.  Better2Know does not use the saliva test as we do not think it is accurate enough.  We only use a small blood sample for your HIV test.

The study found that staff were supportive of the HIV Tests, but did not feel that they would be able to answer all of patients questions.  Better2Know uses doctors or sexually health trained nurses to make sure that you can have all of your questions answered during your appointment.

What the researchers do conclude, though, is that “routine HIV testing in non-specialist settings in the UK is highly acceptable to patients and staff” and that “such a strategy is feasible to deliver in a diverse range of settings”.

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