What is an HIV Home Test?
An HIV Home Test allows you to determine quickly and anonymously if you have contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. With this home sampling kit you take a sample of your blood and send it to a laboratory for analysis. You will receive the results after five working days via a secure website.
What is it used for?
The HIV self-test can be used if you suspect you may have contracted the HIV virus. HIV is primarily spread through:
- Unprotected sexual contact with multiple partners
- Contact with HIV-contaminated needles
Contrary to a general misconception, you cannot get HIV from toilet seats, insects, sweat, kisses or skin contact.
When to use the HIV Home Test
The HIV Home Test checks for antibodies in the blood. Because it takes a few weeks for the body to produce antibodies after infection, the results of the HIV self-test are only reliable if the test is taken at least one month after a possible transmission. If you would like a definite answer right away, you should contact a doctor. The doctor can refer you to a hospital with more advanced testing equipment.
How to take the HIV Home Test
The HIV self-test is simple to perform:
- Wash your hands thoroughly
- Remove the protective strip from the test card
- Sterilise your fingertip with the provided alcohol prep pad
- Prick your fingertip with the lancet
- Apply blood drops inside the circle on the test card. The circle should be completely filled with blood. Inspect the circle on the back to make sure the back of the card is soaked through
- Allow the test card to dry for 30 minutes and attach the sticker with the code to it. Send the test card to the lab on the same day according to the instructions on the package leaflet
- Log onto the secure website with your code after five days for the test results. The HIV self-test is processed automatically and therefore completely anonymous.
Be sure to follow the instructions carefully before performing the self-test.
Understanding the HIV test results
The results of the HIV self-test are either positive or negative.
- A positive test result means that antibodies against the HIV virus have been detected in the blood. In such case you should consult a doctor for further examination
- A negative test result means that no antibodies against the HIV virus have been detected in the blood (yet). However, you should take into account that it can take up to three months after exposure for the body to develop antibodies. If the test is taken too early, the results can be misleading.
- A positive result may not necessarily mean being positive, consult a doctor not just for an examination but a confirmatory test.