The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidance on HIV self-testing (see: WHO issues new guidance on HIV self-testing ahead of World AIDS Day). Below is an excerpt from the article:
In advance of World AIDS Day, WHO has released new guidelines on HIV self-testing to improve access to and uptake of HIV diagnosis....The report reveals that more than 18 million people with HIV are currently taking ART, and a similar number is still unable to access treatment, the majority of which are unaware of their HIV positive status. Today, 40% of all people with HIV (over 14 million) remain unaware of their status. Many of these are people at higher risk of HIV infection who often find it difficult to access existing testing services....HIV self-testing means people can use oral fluid or blood-finger-pricks to discover their status in a private and convenient setting. Results are ready within 20 minutes or less. Those with positive results are advised to seek confirmatory tests at health clinics.
Here is more information about the HIV self-testing options (see: Check Your Status: HIV Home Testing with the Rapid HIV Test):
...[T]there are options for taking an HIV test in the privacy of your own home.The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test [$39.99] and Home Access HIV-1 Test System have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both are sold at drugstores, but you need to be at least 17 years old to purchase them. Other home tests are available in the United States, but they have not been FDA-approved and may be inaccurate or unsafe.
Below are listed some of the precautions and warnings about the OraQuick HIV test copied from the company web site:
- A positive result with this test does not mean that you are definitely infected with HIV, but rather that additional testing should be done in a medical setting.
- A negative result with this test does not mean that you are definitely not infected with HIV, particularly when exposure may have been within the previous 3 months.
- If your test is negative and you engage in activities that put you at risk for HIV on a regular basis, you should test regularly.
Below are directions about sample collection for the OraQuick test (see: How does the OraQuick test work?):
Swab the inside of your mouth. Place the swab in a tube with a developing solution. Results are available in 20 to 40 minutes. If one line appears, the test is negative. Two lines mean you may be positive. You’ll need a follow-up test from a lab to be sure.