Persons who have unprotected sex with someone who may already have HIV are at a risk of contracting the virus. If a person believes that they may have been exposed to the virus then they should go about taking a HIV test to be sure. The safest and most reliable way to go about testing for HIV is through a local clinic or hospital or even their private doctor. There is however also the option of using a HIV home test kit. The HIV homes test kit gives a person the privacy and confidentiality of testing themselves at home. There are two types of home test kits; one which gives you the results at home and one which lets you send the sample to a laboratory.
HIV Self-Test Kits
HIV self-test kits make it possible for a person to receive their results in a few minutes at home. The test involves taking a sample of your saliva, using the kit to test it and then waiting for the results. The drawback of the self-test kit is that it cannot detect an infection which may have happened in the past three months and so a blood sample would have to be used.
HIV PostalTest Kits
The HIV postal test kits come with the equipment for a person to take a sample of their blood and then send it off to a laboratory to be tested. These results will be sent in a text message or by a phone call from the doctor. The person uses a unique number and so confidentiality is not an issue. The postal test kit may be more accurate than the self-test kit since it usually uses blood samples and the blood sample test are more accurate. Whichever test kit that a person chooses however should be followed with a test by a professional in a clinic or hospital.
Home HIV Tests
It is important that any home test kit that a person is using is FDA approved.The Home Access HIV-1 Test System is the test which allows you to prick your finger for a blood sample, send the sample to a laboratory for it to be tested and then call to get your results. If a person receives a positive result from this kit then a follow-up test is done. The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test provides in-home results from a fluid sample. The OraQuick test involves swabbing your mouth and using the kit to test it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) nearly one in five Americans living with HIV do not know it. A person needs to know their HIV status so that they can start the necessary treatment in order to prolong their life. A person who has sex regularly with more than one partner should get tested once every six months. A person is also at risk for contracting HIV if they do drug and share needles with other persons. The choice on which test to use is dependent on the person’s situation/circumstance.