Point-of-care testing (POCT) and new testing technologies
POCT for HIV is a testing technology with which a person can be tested for HIV and learn their status at the same visit. A healthcare professional collects a few drops of blood from pricking the client’s finger and mixes the samples with a solution in order to detect HIV antibodies.
- Fast. POCT kits will give results in under a minute as opposed to the several weeks that it takes for results to come back from a laboratory with a standard test.
- Effective in reaching populations that may not test regularly. In a study of 156 prison inmates in the Halton region of Ontario who were tested for HIV using POCT, 42% said they had never been tested for HIV before. 52% said that they chose to be tested for this project because results were available immediately, and 41% said they chose to be tested for this project because they could do so anonymously.
- Accessible. The collection of several drops with a finger prick can be less intimidating to someone who has a fear of needles, and people who have used injection drugs heavily may find POCT easier if they have significant scarring on their arms.
How it works...