Should You Use a Home HIV Test?

Home HIV TestIf you’re reading this article you’re probably wondering if a home HIV test is something you should consider. However, the question that usually arises is whether a test like that that you do in the comfort of your own home is ‘right’ for you and your particular situation. Let’s take a look at a few situations where a home HIV test is a smart idea for either you or your partner.

  1. People who have been involved in ‘Risk Events’ – The first situation where you would definitely want to use an over the counter HIV test is if you believe you’ve been involved in a risk event that could have exposed you to the HIV virus. We’ve talked about these “risk events” in other articles and basically they are incidents such as having sex with multiple partners, having sex with someone who you believe or know has HIV, doing illegal drugs where needles may have been shared, etc. If you know any of these to be true, you are a candidate that can benefit from using a home test for HIV.
  2. People who would rather be alone while taking the test – Let’s face it, there is a certain stigma about taking an HIV test and some people are rightfully afraid of asking for help or taking an HIV test in front of other people. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this since we are each different and handle certain situations in our own unique ways. Others simply do not like doctors and hospitals and would rather take the test in the comfort of their own homes and again this is perfectly acceptable. Home tests for HIV are easy to follow and the directions are not complicated at all which makes it easier for people to take the test at home and understand the results without needing a PhD or medical degree. Home testing is the perfect solution for these people.
  3. Screening potential sexual partners – Although this is not an advertised solution by HIV test manufacturers like Orasure Technologies, maker of the OraQuick In Home HIV Test, more and more people are utilizing these tests to make sure their potential sexual partners do not have the HIV virus. Studies have shown that there is a small percentage of people that are HIV positive that have lied or have kept it secret from their partners and this has led to many cases of unsuspecting partners ending up becoming at severe risk of contracting the virus. The cost of the test, which runs about $40 these days, pales in comparison to the possible health risks associated with HIV so more people are taking it upon themselves to ask or even demand that their partners take a test if there is even a possibility they believe they may be at risk. One study in particular of 4,000 women and men conducted by Orasure asked whether they would likely or definitely use the in home HIV test that way and a large percentage (70%) indicated they would. Some in the study made suggestions to Orasure to box the kits in sets of two so couples could test together. So, if you’re looking to screen your potential partner, don’t feel like you’re alone as more and more people are making the smart decision to do so as well. Better to be safe now than sorry later.
  4. A woman who is pregnant or plans to become pregnant – Health officials all concur that if you are planning on becoming pregnant, it is very important that you be tested for HIV. If you are pregnant and are found to be HIV positive, there are certain drugs that can decrease the chances of passing HIV on to your baby and the earlier this is known (preferably prior to becoming pregnant) the better the chances are your baby will be safe. Home HIV testing is a perfect solution in these cases as it’s quick, accurate and doesn’t entail a costly doctor visit where the doctor may very well be using the same test that you can purchase over the counter yourself.
  5. Piece of Mind – Statistics are enough to make anyone concerned about HIV. Nearly 1/2 of all new HIV cases in this country occur among young adults under the age of 25. With nearly 3 in 10 young teens being sexually active, the chances are greater than ever that someone you know may have a sexually transmitted disease or possibly even HIV. Young adults are extremely concerned about their health and the possibilities of becoming infected with HIV and having tests kits that are inexpensive, accessible and with fast results are more important than ever. Whether you’re a young sexually active adult or are just a concerned sexually active adult, an in home HIV test is something to consider.

Conclusion: There are many reasons why one would use an in home HIV test and if you fall into one of the categories above, the decision to use an oral fluid test is very evident. There are nearly 1.2 million Americans living with HIV today and the numbers are growing which is certainly not good news. Prevention is the only way to stop it from spreading and products like OraQuick that are FDA approved and clinically proven are the best ways to defend against the spread of HIV.

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