Currently, there is only a small handful HIV home tests available. Not surprisingly, many individuals have professed that they wish these tests could be conducted at home, for many reasons. Only one of these HIV home tests are FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved. However, this does not mean that the tests are not correct and functional, only that they have yet to be approved and therefore may still be in the process of being approved. Any individual who is seeking to use HIV home tests should carefully weigh the decision on whether or not they want an accurate test, and decide on an HIV home test that has the science behind the system to provide the information he or she needs.
How Does Home Testing Work?
HIV home tests work by allowing the individual who wishes to conduct the test the ability to prick his or her finger to draw a bit of blood, and then to place a drop of this blood on a testing strip. This testing strip will then display a graphic image that is usually a stripe or a colored dot, to determine whether the individual is positive. Although these tests are subject to errors, as with pregnancy tests, they do make finding out whether an individual is HIV positive far easier and less stressful by not forcing them to go to a clinic or a hospital.
Accuracy of Home Tests
How reliable they are depends on whether or not the science behind the HIV home test has been substantiated. It has been found that in most instances, the non-approved kits are rarely accurate, despite their claims. Another concern about the tests surfaces from the results and how there is no assistance in understanding the results or explaining what being tested positive now means for the individual. Not having an experienced individual available who can relay to you all of the implications of being HIV positive can have multiple effects, in addition to providing guidance about misinterpreting or incorrectly performing the test.
Home Testing and Confidentiality
One of the best features of the home HIV tests is how they are anonymous. Although some states are forcing new cases to be reported, these companies only have to report the number of new outbreaks and not a name. As individuals do not need to give a name and only an ID number that comes with a HIV home test, it remains a firm way of protecting your anonymity. Few insurance companies will pay for any kind of home test due to how the HIV home tests are not always substantiated by the FDA, and therefore individuals will not need to inform their insurance company of being tested, as some companies will insist.
Due to the nature of the tests and how they have not been substantiated scientifically, it is hard to know how they compare against one another. However, the HIV home test that has been verified by the FDA has shown that while it is less accurate than other formal methods of testing, it still provides reasonable results. It is important to have all tests verified in order to prevent possible mistakes from occurring. If an individual does receive an HIV positive result, he or she should contact a doctor or local free clinic and make an appointment to have a professional test done to verify all results with a medical professional.
How to Choose the Right Test
When you are considering which HIV home test to buy, it is always a good idea to purchase the one that has had hard science performed on it to verify how reliable it is. Reviews of previous customers can help you make this determination, as can testimonials from doctors and other licensed professionals. Although there are better options than HIV home tests, there are currently no cheaper or less invasive methods, while most delve into a person’s lifestyle and compromise their choice of anonymity. Choice is by far one of the best options that HIV home tests provide for you.
Although few HIV home tests exist, the number is rising, allowing many individuals to begin to take the test from home and lessen the amount of anxiety they feel by having to take the test. Although it can be helpful to have a doctor interpret your test, at least you can have the comfort and support of your friends and family around you as you take a HIV home test. This can not only provide you support but it will also allow others to help you to determine the next move for you to take if you are indeed HIV positive.