What Are The Benefits Of Home Hiv Tests
HIV can be much easier to manage and treat if identified early and treatment is started quickly.
Home HIV tests allow people to receive results almost immediately sometimes within minutes without having to wait for an appointment with a healthcare professional or to take time out of their schedule to visit a lab.
Early identification is essential for successful long-term treatment with HIV.
Home tests empower people to learn whether they have the virus earlier than any other testing methods. Early detection can help people seek treatment quickly and also prevent people from unknowingly transmitting the virus.
Early treatment can suppress the virus to undetectable levels, which makes HIV
During the early stages, which is known as primary infection or acute HIV infection, HIV is much easier to transmit to others because levels of virus in the blood are very high.
A person should consider taking an HIV test if they experience these symptoms after the following activities:
- having sex without a condom or another barrier method
- using injection drugs
How Accurate Is An Hiv Test After 2 Weeks
It will depend on the type of HIV test. Generally speaking, HIV tests are highly accurate when theyre performed correctly and after the proper window period.
An antibody test may not be accurate after 2 weeks because it typically takes the body a few weeks or even months to produce HIV antibodies.
An antibody/antigen test can technically detect HIV in as little as 18 days, or about 2.6 weeks.
According to a 2017 study, only 25 percent of people with HIV will receive a positive test result within 13.0 to 14.8 days of taking an antibody/antigen test. After 17.8 to 19.2 days, that ratio improves to 50 percent. After 43.1 to 44.3 days, the test will detect HIV in 99 percent of HIV-positive people.
An RNA test can detect HIV in 10 to 14 days, according to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The National Cancer Institute states that an RNA test can detect HIV .
Read Also: How Is Hiv Different From Aids
How Accurate Is An Hiv Rapid Test At 8 Weeks
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that the HIV rapid test at eight weeks is about 82% accurate for long-standing infections. In comparison, a negative result after the same period for a new infection was only 74% accurate. The reason for this difference is due to the window period for each of the tests. The longer the window period, the more likely it is that a person has HIV.
Although the performance characteristics of the three types of HIV tests are similar, rapid tests show a lower sensitivity for detecting the virus. The p24 antigen in the urine is detected only two or three days later than the antibodies in blood. A third-generation EIA uses oral fluid samples and sensitivity is 90.3%. This means that HIV testing at eight weeks will detect more than 95% of infections.
While an HIV rapid test at eight weeks is more accurate for detecting the virus, a viral load test can only detect the infection at four to eight weeks. The antibodies in the blood may not have developed by that time. However, it is still possible to get an infection at eight weeks with a quick and easy HIV antibody test. In this case, a doctor will use the first result for confirmation and then repeat the test at eight or twelve weeks to ensure the accuracy.
You May Like: Working With Hiv Positive Clients
Different Types Of Tests
Self-tests are usually modified versions of rapid, point-of-care test kits that were originally designed for healthcare professionals. Their processes, packaging and instructions have been simplified so as to guide you through the steps of taking a test.
With some tests, you use a lancet to release a small quantity of blood from a fingerprick. Other tests require a sample of oral fluid, obtained by swabbing an absorbent pad around the outer gums, adjacent to the teeth.
Self-tests may be second- or third-generation HIV tests. They are only able to detect HIV antibodies, whereas the fourth-generation HIV tests which are normally used by healthcare professionals are also able to detect p24 antigen . Fourth-generation tests are therefore better at picking up recent infections.
Second- and third-generation tests can accurately detect chronic HIV infection. But their ability to detect recently acquired HIV is more variable.
Their window periods are a little longer than for other tests. The window period is the time immediately after infection when tests may not detect markers of infection and therefore give a false negative result.
Dont Miss: How Long Do Hiv Results Take
Health Seekers Have Made Us The Fastest Growing Health Information Site Over 200 Million People Turn To Healthline Every Month
Whether youre here to learn more about a health condition, research a medication, tap into one of our communities, or get some tips for a healthier lifestyle, youre in the right place. Youll find content thats informative, easy to understand, and engaging. Youll also find a compassionate team of professionals who genuinely care about people.Source: Google Analytics October, 2021.
Also Check: Can Hiv Be Transmitted Through Eyes
Are Rapid Pcr Tests Accurate
Although rapid PCR tests are widely accepted, their accuracy is still in question. While they are less likely than other tests to detect HIV, false positives can occur. They can also be caused by chance alone. There are still some exceptions to this rule, though. Many experts believe that positive results should be treated as true positives. Here are some reasons why. Hopefully, these findings will give you a better understanding of whether rapid PCR tests are accurate.
First, rapid tests do not magnify the virus. Thus, positive results can occur even if a person does not show symptoms. Another problem with these tests is that they do not provide enough information to confirm an infection. If you have an untreated COVID-19 infection, you must receive treatment and notify close contacts as soon as possible. Currently, a laboratory test called RT-PCR is used to diagnose the disease. However, the results take up to 24 hours to be available. Because of this, you have to take two rapid point-of-care tests to get a definitive answer.
A PCR test is sent to a lab and results are typically available in one to seven days. While the sensitivity and specificity of rapid PCR tests are high, the CDC says they are not always as effective as they should be, as the number of different types of COVID variants is increasing. A single negative result is reassuring, but it doesnt mean that a patient is completely healthy.
Best For Fast Results: Oraquick In
OraQuick is the first FDA-approved home HIV test. According to the company, the test is the same that healthcare professionals have used for many years.
A person needs to use an oral swab to perform the test. They take a sample at home, and results are usually available within 2040 minutes.
An individuals purchase of this HIV test is kept confidential on bank statements, and the company sends the tests using discreet packaging.
According to OraQuick, shipping takes 210 days.
A person should consult their doctor about any positive HIV test results, as they may need to undergo additional assessments to confirm.
Price: OraQuick In-Home HIV Test costs $38.99.
Also Check: How Can We Cure Hiv
What Is A Rapid Hiv Test
A rapid HIV test is one of the simple methods of testing and gives quick results. If other HIV tests show results in a few days, even a week, this test method will give you results in about 20-30 minutes.
This can be done by your doctor or you can do it yourself if you suspect you have an infection. Most of the rapid HIV testing methods available today are antibody tests to find HIV antibodies in the blood or body fluids if any.
To perform a rapid HIV test, doctors usually take blood from the finger or take saliva from the person who is tested to check.
If you want to do a rapid HIV test yourself to see if you are at risk of infection, saliva can be obtained. Then use a dedicated medical kit for self-examination.
If you have a positive HIV test, if you have a positive result, you need to see a doctor for advice and more in-depth tests to continue to follow up and confirm the final result is correct.
What Do I Do If My Results Are Positive
If your home HIV test results are positive, its important to follow up with a doctor as soon as possible. Healthcare professionals usually conduct two tests to confirm that you have HIV, so the results of this test are preliminary. Please call The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center at 401-793-2928 and ask for Dr. Philip A. Chan, or email .
If your second test is positive, your doctor will typically start you on anti-HIV medications right away. While HIV is serious, if you take these medications every day and take care of yourself, you can live a life that is just as full and active as someone who does not have HIV. Visit our page HIV Positive? Get Treated page for more information and resources.
You May Like: How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Show Symptoms
When To Talk With A Doctor
If you test positive on a home test, talk with a doctor as soon as possible to discuss your test results and treatment and to get a blood-based test.
Starting treatment early can prevent the development of AIDS, and it can also decrease the time it takes for HIV to become undetectable, which can help reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.
The Worlds Fastest Hiv Test
INSTI® HIV Self Test is designed as a single-use at home HIV test kit that allows you to get results in the comfort of your home and at a time that works best for you. Sample, pour and read your results immediately. Its that easy.
The test uses simple flow-through technology to detect HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies using a drop of human fingerstick blood. The test is intended for use by untrained lay users as a self test to aid in the diagnosis of HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection using a small drop of blood obtained through fingerstick collection procedures.
You May Like: When To Get Tested For Hiv
Don’t Miss: How Long Do People Live With Aids
What Is Hiv Testing
Several types of tests check your blood or other body fluids to see whether you’re infected. Most can’t spot HIV right away because it takes time for your body to make antibodies or for enough of the virus to grow inside you.
How Do Hiv Tests Work
There are two basic ways to get HIV test results:
Laboratory tests. For these tests, a technician takes a sample of your blood and tests it. Youâll get results within a few days.
Rapid tests. These tests provide results in about 20-30 minutes. You can get them done in a community clinic or take them at home.
Also Check: How Hiv Affects The Immune System
What To Do If A Rapid Strep Test Was Negative
When it comes to HIV testing, the first step is to take a small sample of blood. If the test shows a positive result, a second step is necessary to confirm the result. A laboratory-based HIV test will take several days to provide results. A rapid screening HIV blood test can detect a single antibody, but it is not a cure. A laboratory-based HIV blood test can help to confirm the infection and identify risk factors.
Is The Rapid Hiv Test Accurate
Rapid HIV testing is considered a clinical test method, often done for people who test for HIV for the first time. When performing this test method, many people still feel worried about whether the rapid HIV test results are accurate, can the rapid HIV test be false positive?
According to Dr. Nguyen Tan Thu a consultant at HIV/AIDS Center said the rapid HIV test method often gives quite accurate results, and technical errors are less likely to occur. In addition, the test results always have a control line to determine the quality of the blood sample is up to the standard.
When the control line on the test result shows up, the test staff will read whether you are positive or negative for HIV antibodies. Accuracy can reach 90%, so if the blood or body fluids contain HIV antibodies the probability of omission is very low. So you can have about 90% confidence in these test results.
However, the downside of this approach is that the rapid response test has all components with a similar structure to HIV. So there will be some cases of false positives .
If you suspect that you are infected with HIV and feel unsure about the rapid HIV test results, you can perform more in-depth tests to give more accurate results such as the HIV combo test method. This is one of the test methods that give a highly accurate result and can be done after 2-6 weeks. Are combo tests false positive? If you test for an HIV combo after 6 weeks of exposure, there are few false positives.
Also Check: How Long After Sex To Test For Hiv
What Do The Test Results Mean
There are three possible test results:
1) Negative . The test did not find any evidence of HIV infection. You probably dont have HIV .
2) Reactive . The test assay has reacted to a substance in your blood. This does not necessarily mean that you are HIV positive. It means you need to take more tests to confirm the result. These extra tests are best done at a healthcare facility where they have access to the most accurate HIV testing technologies.
3) Indeterminate, equivocal or invalid. The test result is unclear. Another test needs to be done.
How Is The Test Used
HIV tests are used to screen for and diagnose HIV infections.
Different types of tests may be used for HIV screening:
Read Also: How Long Does Hiv Turn To Aids
Window Periods Of Rapid Tests
The window period refers to the time after infection and before seroconversion, during which markers of infection are still absent or too scarce to be detectable. Tests cannot reliably detect HIV infection until after the window period has passed. All tests have a window period, which varies from test to test.
Delaney and colleagues estimated window periods for a handful of rapid tests in a 2017 study. However, all these estimates were based on testing blood plasma. In practice, tests are usually done on fingerprick blood and the window period is likely to be several days longer.
The fourth-generation Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo was estimated to have a median window period of 19 days . This indicates that half of all infections would be detected between 15 and 25 days after exposure. Ninety-nine per cent of HIV-infected individuals would be detectable within 43 days of exposure.
The third-generation INSTI HIV-1/HIV-2 test was estimated to have a median window period of 26 days . This indicates that half of all infections would be detected between 22 and 31 days after exposure. Ninety-nine per cent of HIV-infected individuals would be detectable within 50 days of exposure.
UK guidelines take a cautious approach, describing the window period for all rapid, point-of-care tests as 90 days.
Where Can People Find Free Hiv Testing Locations
The CDC maintains a list of HIV testing locations for people who want to find out whether they have contracted the virus. This National HIV and STD Testing Resource can be accessed at . This site includes the ability to search for free testing locations as well as locations that provide rapid tests. Some clinics only provide HIV testing. However, sexually transmitted diseases clinics routinely provide HIV testing along with testing for diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes.
You May Like: What Does Hiv Aids Do To Your Body
How Soon Can A Rapid Test Detect Hiv
A rapid antibody test can detect HIV 23 to 90 days after exposure. Tests that use blood from a vein usually provide faster results than ones that use a finger prick or cheek swab.
However, vein-based testing isnt something you can generally do at home. This type of test requires a healthcare professional to draw blood.