the decision to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is a
big choice to make.
Taking the option of getting tested at home is a
relief to many.
Today, there are HIV home testing kits available for
you to insure confidentiality of your results.
people ask the question, "Why should you get tested for HIV?"
are many reasons that people get tested for HIV. Maybe you’re
sexually active and have engaged in behaviors that put you at risk of
HIV infection. Maybe you’re starting a new relationship and
decided to get tested together.
Whatever the case, there are many
reasons why you should consider getting tested for HIV.
had sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal) without a condom or
you've learned that a partner was not monogamous, or you have been
sexually assaulted. Sometimes condoms are not reliable and they
you have been sharing needles or syringes to inject drugs (including
steroids) or for body piercing, tattooing, or any other
you have had multiple sexual partners, found out that a partner has
shared needles, learned that a past or current partner is
HIV-positive, discovered that a partner has been exposed to HIV, had
a recent diagnosis of another sexually transmitted disease (STD) or
if you are pregnant.
home tests can tell if you have
been infected with HIV.
infection occurs, the body develops antibodies to the virus.
checks to see if your body is making these antibodies.
it doesn’t test for AIDS.
are three different ways to be tested for HIV: a blood sample, saliva
or a urine sample.
HIV home testing kits require a blood sample,
which can be easily obtained by pricking your finger.
HIV home test
kits come with a detailed instruction booklet with illustrations
which will take you through pre-test registration and counseling;
collecting your blood sample; shipping that sample to an accredited
laboratory then calling back for test results.
You have the option of
post-test counseling and referrals.
Your results will then be
available anywhere from 3-7 days, depending on which HIV home testing
kit you purchase.
positive test result means that
your body is making HIV
If the test finds antibodies, that means you are infected
with HIV. However, it doesn’t mean you have AIDS or will
negative test result means no
HIV antibodies were found in
But, you could still be infected if you have been exposed to
HIV in the last six months.
Your body may not have produced enough
HIV antibodies to show up yet.
Consider getting tested again in a few
you test positive, find a
health-care professional who has
experience with HIV treatment.
The earlier you begin treatment, the
more likely the virus will develop slowly, so you can stay healthy
Many HIV positive people live for many years without
developing AIDS, but the odds are better the earlier you start
you test negative, practice
abstinence or practice safer sex.
a latex condom during each act of vaginal, oral, or anal
Don’t share needles or syringes to inject drugs or for any
Remember, if you had unprotected sex or any other risky
behavior that can transmit HIV in the last six months prior to
getting tested, you will need to get a follow-up test in six months
to be sure you are not infected.
home testing kits offer
anonymity because they use code numbers or
names to identify your test.
name is never used. You use
the code to get your results.
You are the only person who knows your
With anonymous testing, you get to decide whom to tell and
when to share the results.