"We believe urine-based testing may be at least one useful tool for identifying people who have HIV infection, but don't want to have a blood test," investigator Dr. Joseph B. Margolick of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore told Reuters Health.Margolick
and colleagues hypothesized that convenient, noninvasive methods of screening in high-risk areas "could detect many HIV-infected individuals who otherwise would not be tested."
To investigate the usefulness of urine testing in this regard, over a period of about three years, the researchers screened more than 1,700 people at one- to two-day sessions held in places such as churches, food kitchens and community halls as well as at ongoing testing sites.
Overall, 210 (12%) people were HIV-positive.Of these, 169 (80%) had never been tested before or had had negative test results.Blood testing in a subset of 86 people who showed positive results on both the standard HIV blood test and a urine test for HIV antibodies confirmed the findings in 83 (97%) of them.
added that such an approach "could help improve surveillance for HIV infection in areas where HIV infection is relatively common, and this in turn would help people have access to treatments for HIV that could greatly improve their health."
SOURCE: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 2002;31:416-421.
Last Updated: 2002-12-26 13:32:27 -0400 (Reuters Health)