How does HIV testing work

When your body detects something harmful (like a bacteria or a virus) your immune system starts to produce antibodies to try and defend your body. Each type of antibody is unique and this is what is detected by your BioSURE HIV Self test.

The technology is very similar to a human pregnancy test. The process detects specific antibodies in your blood sample, (not actual HIV) and this is what produces the test Result Line (the second line).

Each BioSURE HIV Self Test has an inbuilt control line (the top line) This makes sure that the test has been performed and run correctly. The control line, is a sample control line and it will only become visible if the correct volume of human blood has been applied. This means you can be confident that your HIV test result has been generated by a test that you have done properly.

The time from when HIV infection occurs to when a test can correctly give a positive result is called the ‘window period’. During this period, someone who has been infected with HIV will still get a negative HIV test result because they will not have enough HIV antibodies in their blood sample to generate a positive result. This does not mean the person testing is negative. In fact, because there are not enough antibodies, the amount of HIV virus (the viral load) in their body is very high and this early (acute) phase is the most infectious period.

Everybody makes antibodies at different rates. A negative result may not be accurate until 3 months after infection. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 6 weeks you should go to see your local healthcare professional who will be able to send a sample of your blood for a laboratory test.