What you need to know about testing your HIV status, how to get a home HIV test, and how accurate the results are when you test for HIV antibodies at home.
The easiest way to get the home HIV test is to click and order from Amazon. This kit includes a test stick, a test tube, and easy to understand directions about how to take a home HIV test, two information booklets, a disposal bag, and phone numbers for consumer support. It’s a very simple and accurate test. It uses your saliva (oral fluid) to check for antibodies to HIV Type 1 and HIV Type 2, which are the viruses that cause AIDS.
OraQuick allows you to take the HIV test anonymously and privately. Learning how to get a home HIV test is the first step, and the next steps are just as simple. All you do is swab or touch your upper and lower gums with the test device. Then, insert the device into the kit’s vial. This home HIV test contains a developer solution that interacts with saliva to indicate whether the antibodies to the HIV virus are present. After waiting 20-40 minutes, you read the test result. That’s how to take a home HIV test. Below, I describe what to do with positive HIV test results.
How to Get a Home HIV Test
If you order the HIV test from Amazon, you don’t have to worry about confidentiality or privacy. Unless, of course, your partner checks your email or mailbox at home.
When to get a home HIV test
Here is a list of behaviors that puts you at an increased risk for HIV infection:
- Having intercourse with someone who is HIV-positive or a person who often engages in high-risk HIV behavior
- Injecting drugs (including steroids, hormones, or silicone) and sharing equipment with others
- Testing positive for an STD such as syphilis
- Testing positive for hepatitis or tuberculosis
If you continually engage in high-risk behaviors, you shouldn’t just know how to get a home HIV test. You should take the test at least once a year! The more frequently you take the HIV test at home, the better chance you have of diagnosing and dealing with the virus.
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You should also know how to get a home HIV test if you’ve been sexually assaulted, planning to get pregnant, or are pregnant.
Reasons why some people take the home HIV test regularly
It can take some time for your immune system to produce enough antibodies for the home HIV test to detect a positive result. How long it takes varies from person to person.
This timeframe is known as the window period – it’s when you are infected with HIV but antibodies to the virus can’t be detected. Even if you don’t test positive with the home HIV test, you could still infect others with the antibodies.
Most people (97%) will develop detectable antibodies in the first three months following the time of their infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it can take up to six months to develop antibodies for HIV.
What to do if you get a positive result with the home HIV test
After you get a home HIV test, you need to be very careful to read and follow all the directions. The home HIV test contains step-by-step instructions that are easy to read. There’s also an OraQuick Consumer Support Center that you can call if you have questions about how to take the HIV test at home.
Testing positive after you take a home HIV test doesn’t mean you’ll get the full-blown AIDS virus. A positive result means you need to go to a doctor or medical clinic for additional testing. Sometimes medical tests offer “false positives”, which is why it’s important to do more than one test.
By the same token, if you get a negative result after taking a home HIV test, you might want to come back and learn how to get a home HIV test again in three months. Why? Because the antibodies for the HIV virus may not be present in your saliva yet.
When to take the HIV home test again
How do you feel? If you’ve had flu-like symptoms since you first took the test for HIV at home, you might re-take the test – even if you got negative results.
You might also consider getting another home HIV test if you had unprotected intercourse again. Early HIV symptoms usually occur within a month or two after infection and are often like a bad case of the flu.
In many people, early HIV signs and symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph glands, and a rash. Get the home HIV test again if you feel like you have the flu.
I welcome your thoughts on how to get a home HIV test. I can’t offer any type of advice, but it may help you to share your experience.
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