HIV testing kit is an STI testing kit used to screen for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV for short) in the comfort of your own home and without visiting a clinic or going through that uncomfortable talk with a doctor. With this at-home STI testing kit, you can collect the required blood sample with a finger prick, safely store it and post it to the relevant partner laboratory where the medical experts will conduct the tests and let you know about the results via your preferred communication channel.
What’s on this page?
The results of this test are completely valid and will be recognized by any clinic, which means that HIV test kit can allow you to go to consultations and obtain the proper treatment without having to undergo any additional tests or examinations to confirm your condition.
It is important to note that this test can be used only to check for HIV infection and not for other potential STIs. So, if you are unsure about your sexual health and wish to undergo a more comprehensive test that covers multiple STIs, you would maybe be more interested in some other testing kits like 4-in-1 test that covers not only HIV, but also syphilis and hepatitis B and C.
Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV): A general background
Probably the best-known sexually transmitted disease, HIV is diagnosed in roughly two in every 1000 residents of the United Kingdom. As a sexually transmitted disease, it can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal or anal sex as well as through the use of shared sex toys or needles (as exposure to infected person’s blood is a viable transmission method).
It is estimated that men who have sex with men (MSM) are at a higher risk of contracting HIV with roughly 1 in 17 MSM in the UK being affected by this viral STI. However, the virus can affect anyone, regardless of the sex, age or sexual orientation. This is why practicing safe sex plays a crucial role in preventing the spread of HIV, with barrier contraception being the only truly reliable method.
How is HIV diagnosed?
What makes HIV hard to detect in its early stages is the fact that, similar to many other STIs, it too can remain largely asymptomatic for weeks at a time. The first early signs of infection include rash and symptoms similar to that of influenza, making it easy to misdiagnose this condition. When left untreated, the virus can cause severe damage to the immune system, making the person infected much more susceptible to secondary infections and making even the most ordinary health problems like a common cold potentially life-threatening. However, even then, chronic influenza or other problems might be treated while completely missing the root problem – HIV infection – even for several years in some cases.
This is why there is absolutely no alternative to STI testing if you have even the slightest reason to believe that you might have been exposed to this infection. However, this is somewhat more complicated as opposed to other STIs since it can take up to three months before the virus can be detected via testing. This is why one HIV test often isn’t enough and the medical experts highly advise those who might be at risk to undergo at least two tests – one as soon as possible, and the other several weeks after. In this way, you can accurately confirm or deny the negative result.
Why should I get tested?
The facts mentioned above should be enough to underline the importance of testing for HIV if you have any reason to suspect you might have been exposed to the virus. And with the usual transmission methods that characterise this STI, it goes without saying that everyone who is not involved in a monogamous long-term relationship with a partner whose sexual health state is known is at risk. The doctors advise sexually active people to take a comprehensive STI test at least once per year and every time they have sex with a new partner.
In addition to this, detecting HIV early will allow you to apply for a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment – a modern treatment that can stop the virus from developing if applied timely.
How can I buy HIV testing kit online?
Buying HIV testing kit online is very easy – you simply need to choose an online clinic that offers this kit and purchase it there. You will probably be asked a couple of quick questions by a doctor (either through questionnaire or through live chat application) in order to determine whether you chose the right kit and whether you should maybe visit a hospital if there is a clear and present danger to your health. If you get the go-ahead from the doctor, the testing kit will be sent to your address.
What does HIV testing kit contain?
- Name label
- Request form
- Prepaid return envelope
- Blood collection tube
- Protective packing wallet
- Security label
- Two plasters
- Two moist wipes
- Two alcotip swabs
How to use HIV testing kit?
The testing kit contains an easy-to-use instruction that will guide you through the whole process of collecting the required sample step by step. Here we will provide you with just a short summary of the instructions in order to give you a better idea about what does the test involve.
- First fill in all the details on the label and request form
- Wash your hands in warm soapy water and dry thoroughly
- Orient the blood collection tube in the protective packing wallet properly (as shown on the diagram in the instructions) and remove the lid
- Use alcotip swab to clean the site where you will take the sample (side of your little finger is usually recommended)
- Wipe the finger with a clean tissue so it is completely dry (a blood form cannot form on your finger if it is damp or wet)
- Take out the lancet, twist the end and remove the blue stick
- Make sure you are in standing position
- Place the lancet against the site of your finger
- Press firmly against the skin
- Skin will be punctured and blood drop will show
- Take a clean tissue and wipe away the first drop
- Hold your hand so it points downwards and massage your finger to assist the blood flow
- Position your finger over the opening of the blood collection tube until blood stops dripping
- Fill in the tube to the upper line on the side of the tube
- Place one of the plasters on your finger to stop the bleeding
- Replace the lid on the collection tube and secure it (you should hear a click)
- Mix the contents of the tube and stick your label to it
- Put the tube into the protective wallet
- Place the wallet and the used lancets into the test kit box, sealing it with a security sticker
- Place the test kit box and the request in the envelope and post it to the relevant partner laboratory