Sexual Health

HIV - Home Testing Kits

Consumer-controlled test kits or "home testing kits" were first licensed in 1997. Although home HIV tests are sometimes advertised through the Internet, currently only the Home Access HIV-1 (Home testing Kit) Test System is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (The accuracy of other home test kits cannot be verified). The Home Access HIV-1 Test System can be found at most local drug stores. It is not a true home test, but a home collection kit. The testing procedure involves pricking a finger with a special device, placing drops of blood on a specially treated card, and then mailing the card in to be tested at a licensed laboratory. Customers are given an identification number to use when phoning in for the results. Callers may speak to a counselor before taking the test, while waiting for the test result, and when the results are given. All individuals receiving a positive test result are provided referrals for a follow-up confirmatory test, as well as information and resources on treatment and support services.

Other HIV screening tesrs that are available in the United States:

In most cases the EIA (enzyme immunoassay), used on blood drawn from a vein, is the screening test used to look for antibodies to HIV. A positive (reactive) EIA must be used with a follow-up (confirmatory) test such as the Western blot to make a positive diagnosis. There are EIA tests that use other body fluids to look for antibodies to HIV. These include:

  • Oral Fluid Tests

  • Urine Tests

Other HIV Screening Tests:

  • Rapid Tests

  • RNA Tests

A List of FDA approved HIV tests - Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

 

   

 

 


These articles are meant to be an informational exercise and NOT a medical consultation. Your doctor is the only one who can best assess your situation and offer you medical advice


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