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How accurate is at home HIV test?



Adult women getting blood drawn in exam room for hiv testing by healthcare worker

What exactly is a self-test for HIV?

An HIV self-test, also known as a quick self-test, is an antibody test that may be performed in the privacy of one’s own home or another place of their choosing. You may obtain your test results in as little as twenty minutes when you use an HIV self-test.

Where can I locate an HIV self-testing kit?

You may get an HIV self-test at a local drugstore or purchase one on the internet. You may find out whether your local health department or another group near you offers self-tests at no cost or at a discounted cost by utilising the locator that is provided below. Oral fluid testing is presently the only kind of HIV self-test that has been authorised by the FDA and is accessible in the United States.

How reliable is an HIV test that may be done at home?

As part of the standard precautionary measures, anybody between the ages of 13 and 64 years old should be tested for HIV at least once. There are far too many individuals who are infected with the virus that may lead to AIDS but are unaware of it.

It is a good idea to be tested for HIV often if you or a loved one is at a greater risk for the disease, such as because of drug use including the use of a needle or unprotected sexual activity. You have a number of options for getting checked out, including the office of your primary care physician, pharmacies, and community health clinics.

You also have the option of completing the test on your own at home. The procedure for doing so, as well as other important information on self-testing, is detailed below.

Types of Home Test

Home Access HIV-1 Test System.

You will need to prick your finger and place a drop of blood on the specific paper that comes with this over-the-counter kit. After that, you send the sample off to a testing facility via mail. You will need to wait about one week before you may contact a toll-free phone number and provide your anonymous personal identification number in order to get your findings. If you feel the need for it, you will also be provided therapy over the phone.


OraQuick is a convenient in-home HIV test. You may purchase this test at a local pharmacy Newark or on the internet. This rapid test looks for antibodies against HIV in a sample of saliva taken from the patient. A test stick is used to take a sample from both your upper and lower gums. After inserting the sample into the vial that contains the fluid, you wait anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes before reading the result.


There is very little room for error with the Home Access HIV-1 Test System. Studies have shown that it has a detection rate of more than 99.9 percent for HIV antibodies, which is an indication that the virus that causes AIDS is present in your blood. When a positive result is obtained from your sample, the laboratory will run another test to verify the result before they can give you your result.

If you get negative results from the test, which indicates that you do not have HIV, then its accuracy is likewise 99.9 percent. Therefore, you may have a high degree of confidence in either response.

Accuracy of OraQuick

The OraQuick in-home HIV test has a lower degree of precision. The likelihood of finding HIV antibodies with this test is 92%. This indicates that it will fail to detect an HIV infection in one out of every 12 persons who carry the virus. It is quite unlikely that OraQuick would give you a false positive result, which means that it will state that you have HIV even if you do not.

However, medical professionals advise that you should consider the findings of the OraQuick test to be preliminary if they come back positive after testing. Your primary care physician or a medical facility should do a second test to verify the results so that you can seek the necessary medical attention.

If you take any of these tests and obtain a negative result, you should consider doing them again if you’ve engaged in any activities in the recent past that may have exposed you to the virus. Because it may take between three and six months for your body to produce HIV antibodies, a test is taken before or during this “window period” may miss an infection if it is administered too early or too late.

Examples of circumstances in which one’s own judgment could not be accurate.

The results of one’s own self-assessments tend to be less reliable in a variety of contexts. It’s possible that the results are not correct.

  • Whenever there is a suspicion of a recent HIV infection and while the test is still valid.
  • In individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV and are receiving treatment for HIV. These tests should not be relied upon as a reliable method for determining whether or not you still have HIV infection.
  • In patients who are on either pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), this condition may occur (PEP). Should they get HIV, there is a chance that they may have a delayed antibody response, which would lengthen the window time.
  • when the directions for the test have not been followed properly, for instance when insufficient amounts of blood have been obtained.

What can we infer from HIV test results?

There are three different outcomes that might come from the test:

1) Devoid of reactivity (also known as “negative” or “non-reactive”) The test came out negative for any signs of HIV infection whatsoever. If you are not testing positive for HIV in any of the circumstances detailed in the previous section, it is very unlikely that you have the virus.

2) Reactive (manufacturers often use the term “positive” in an improper manner to characterise this property). The test assay has produced a reaction in response to a component found in your blood. Even if you have this symptom, it does not always signify that you have HIV. It indicates that more testing is required in order to validate the findings. It is recommended that these additional tests be carried out in a healthcare facility because such facilities have access to the most advanced HIV testing technology.

3) ‘Indeterminate’, ‘equivocal’ or ‘invalid’. The outcome of the test is not apparent. There is a need for one more exam.

Which HIV home test is tailored to you?

Should you be tested for HIV in a clinic or at the office of your doctor, or should you do the test on your own? Which at-home test would you recommend for someone like you? The decisions you make may be influenced by how you respond to the following questions:

  • How critical is it that nobody but you knows you’re taking the test or the outcomes of it?
  • How crucial is it to do things right?
  • Would you be willing to take more tests if they were recommended?
  • How soon do you want to see the effects of your efforts?
  • How would you want to have your findings sent to you?

If you are at risk for HIV, being tested for anything is preferable than not getting tested at all. According to the findings of the research, males who engage in sexual activity with other men who have received HIV self-test kits in the mail are more likely to get tested for the virus on a regular basis. Therefore, more HIV infections were picked up by the testing. The guys who had positive test results also disclosed this knowledge to others in their personal and professional networks.

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