HIV testing has a number of advantages. Firstly, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. Secondly, timely action can improve your life expectancy by a large margin. Results have shown a considerable development in this regard, where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus; due to which, the life expectancy of the patients have increased by as many as five to six years. Also, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.
However, since most people are scared to go to a clinic for HIV tests, it has further worsened the condition, as far as spread of HIV is concerned. In order to address this problem, the HIV home test came into light. An HIV home test kit enables you to know the results, at your home. You will find a number of HIV home test kits in the market. Also, you can order for a home delivery.
There are basically two types of HIV home test kits, which are available in the market, i.e. FDA approved testing kits and non-approved testing kits.
Approved test kits contain several components, such as specimen collection, as well as specified mailing envelope to send the specimen to a designated laboratory. It basically relies on a finger prick system, in which, the user pricks his/her finger and deposits his/her blood on a designated paper. This paper is then sent to a laboratory with a personal identification number and usually takes around three days to get the result.
Approved tests are extensively examined by the FDA and results show, that they are capable of detecting HIV-1virus, in an effective way. Also, approved HIV home test kits provide pre and post testing counseling, which is very necessary, not only for providing emotional support, but for lowering the inhibition of going through the tests.
Unapproved home test kits on the other harm are not examined by the FDA and hence the results, which they show, are always under doubt. An unapproved kit may rely on a finger prick system or saliva test and claim to detect HIV antibodies within fifteen minutes or less. The mode of testing involves collecting the blood, or saliva sample on a designated paper and a solution is placed on it, to test the strains of HIV in it. The samples are not sent to a laboratory, for inspection.
As explained earlier, these tests do not guarantee any results. So, a user always has a chance of getting wrong results. Also, no pre or post counseling is provided by these kits, making situations worse, as a person could further spread the virus, unaware of his/her actual status.
Since, HIV is such a dreaded disease, it should therefore, never be taken in a callous manner. It is therefore, advisable, to opt for an approved HIV home test kit, to get a proper report.