Last changed: 12/12/2022
HIV Test Kits
HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a blood borne virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. There is no effective cure but with treatment it can be controlled. The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested.
Why Use A HIV Home Test?
The only way to find out if you have HIV is to take a test. This is because symptoms often do not appear for many years. Yet the sooner it is diagnosed then the sooner you can start treatment. Whilst there is no cure for HIV, treatments now are very effective in allowing people to live well with the virus.
Who Should Use A HIV Home Test?
In most cases HIV is passed on by having sex with a person who has HIV without using a condom. So, you should take a test if you have had unprotected vaginal or anal sex. You are at high risk if you have a current or previous partner with HIV, you inject drugs and share equipment, you have a history of sexually transmitted infections, you have had multiple sexual partners.
What Do You Get In A HIV Home Test?
The home test requires a blood sample. Your test will include finger prick lancets and wipes, all in discreet packaging.
If you are taking the test because you are concerned about a particular incident, do wait at least 28 days since the incident to take the test.
What Does A Home HIV Test Do?
Most tests look for HIV antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when you are exposed to a virus like HIV. Antigens are foreign substances that cause your immune system to activate. So, if you have HIV an antigen called p24 is produced even before you have antibodies. Testing for the antigen p24 can therefore be very useful as an early marker of HIV.