Living with HIV – home tests are saving lives every day

Living with HIV

These days, it seems we are constantly being poked, prodded, pricked or in some other way tested as part of our routine healthcare procedures. We might complain about the inconvenience and discomfort of having a blood sample taken or a pap test performed, but we don’t really mean it – after all, we know that early diagnosis of a condition could save our lives.


Now, the CDC is saying that we should add HIV testing to the medical regime, and when you look at the statistics, it is easy to see why. This is a condition where early symptoms are often unobservable, yet early diagnosis is vital. Add to the mix the stigma that some people associate with HIV/AIDS and we are left with a situation in which more than half of those with HIV are diagnosed late in terms of getting the optimum treatment, and a third are diagnosed too late for a positive prognosis at all.

Are home tests the answer?

Grandiose announcements from the CDC about what everyone should be doing are OK as far as they go, but they are unlikely to lead to a flood of people rushing to their nearest clinic to get checked out. A major reason for this is that stigma we mentioned earlier. It seems bizarre to think that someone might risk his or her life due to concerns about “what someone might think” – particularly when that someone performs HIV tests every day for people of all ages, sexes and backgrounds. But sometimes there is no reasoning with the human brain.

A home HIV test could be the ideal solution to this tricky dilemma. Anyone who is worried about seeking a diagnosis can simply order a test kit online from and perform the test themselves without needing to speak to anyone else about it. It could be the perfect cure for those sleepless nights of worry.

Types of home HIV test

There are a growing range of home HIV tests gradually being approved by the FDA. Initially, the main one was not really so much a home test at all, but a home sampling system, whereby you took a blood sample, sent it off to a lab, and they would then contact you with the result.

In more recent years, genuine home tests, where you can see the result in matter of minutes, have entered the market. These involve you introducing a sample, either of saliva or blood, depending on the test, into a solution, then waiting for a test strip to assess whether HIV antibodies are present. These tests offer speed, confidentiality and most important of all, high levels of accuracy.

Saving lives with early diagnosis


There is still no substitute for talking to a doctor, and that is certainly the first thing you need to do if a home HIV test gives a positive result. However, there can be no doubting that home HIV tests allow early diagnosis of the condition and will save thousands of lives.



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