Why it’s so important to test for HIV? Part 1

Why it’s so important to test for HIV? Part 1

Did you know you can test yourself for HIV?

BioSure is all about giving you choice. The choice to test for HIV where you want, when you want and with who you want and the choice to be the first person to know your own status. 

Some people prefer to go to a sexual health clinic where a healthcare professional carries out your test for you, but geographical and time challenges often mean it is something you might mean to do but not get round to. Or you might even find it just plain embarrassing.

Now, for the first time, you also have the choice to test for HIV in private at your own convenience, with just a simple swab of your gums. Use wherever you feel most comfortable, and you get your own result in just 20 minutes. To many, this testing option is priceless. 

But I’ve never heard of HIV self testing?

When pregnancy tests were first introduced to the market, they were thought to be a ridiculous idea and professionals wondered how on earth women would react if they found out whether or not they were pregnant on their own at home. However, 30+ years on we could not imagine life without them. You are still able to go to the doctors for a pregnancy test, but this is just not commonplace anymore due to the ease of accessibility of pregnancy tests and the very real time constraints most women have in their lives.

When BioSure launched the first approved HIV self-test back in 2015 the same concerns were voiced, but after 8 years of robust post-market surveillance we can evidence that these fears were unfounded and people can deal with getting their own result and if they get a positive test result can self-refer to a healthcare professional.

Our CEO has often stated that HIV self-testing and pregnancy home testing are not dissimilar given that they are both “sexually transmitted life-changing events.” HIV self-testing gives you the opportunity to take control and be the first person to know your status in minutes.

Can I trust my result?

There are incredibly vigorous regulatory controls in place to make sure only accurate, proven easy to use tests can be placed on the market, so it is really important you only buy a CE marked test and to check that it is specifically for self-testing (ie not given for professional use only)

The OraQuick HIV Self Test is the first and only CE marked oral fluid test and is proven to be as accurate as a blood test. It is also FDA approved in the US and is World Health Organization Prequalified

Additionally, the OraQuick test has in-built sample control line, which means your negative test line can only appear if you have performed your test correctly and added enough oral fluid sample. Many HIV self-tests do not have this functionality and is something BioSure have been campaigning to the regulators about for years, because without this you have no idea if you have performed your test correctly.

Where can I test?

You can literally test wherever you choose, from the comfort of your own home to sitting in your car. Whether you want to know your HIV status on your own or with a friend, the OraQuick HIV Self Test is the test for you – no mixing, no measuring and an instant result, without the need for any blood.

When can I test?

All at-home HIV tests look for antibodies to HIV, not the virus itself. If you’re testing as a precaution before unprotected sex or testing after unprotected sex, you have to be aware of the ‘window period’ which is the time from contraction of the virus to when your body makes antibodies (seroconverts).

Everybody makes these at different times, with about 50% making them at around 4 weeks and 95% of people having detectable antibodies by 6 weeks. Because some people seroconvert even later, we recommend not to test until 4 weeks after the possible exposure and to re-confirm your negative result 12 weeks after exposure. A positive test result is always a positive test result regardless of the window period and this must always be re-confirmed by a healthcare professional.    

Where can I get an OraQuick HIV Self test

You can order your OraQuick HIV self testing kit online and it is discretely sent with free P&P to an address of your choice. You can also buy at Superdrug and on-line and in-site at hundreds of independent pharmacies.

How do I do the test?

It's simply an easy and pain free swab of your gums with your own result in just 20 minutes. No labs, no questions, no waiting and no blood needed!

There are detailed instructions provided with every test.

What do I do if my result is positive?

If your result is positive, as with all HIV tests, you must have a confirmatory test, usually at your local sexual health clinic. You can search for your nearest sexual health clinic here https://sxt.health/hiv, call NHS 111 or contact an HIV organisation such as Positively UK https://positivelyuk.org/

Is HIV treatable?

Yes. If you are a person living with HIV, antiretroviral treatments (ART's) are now so effective, that if they are taken correctly the HIV virus can be suppressed to undetectable levels (also known as viral suppression or U=U) This means that you can live an active and healthy life and have a normal life expectancy. But obviously that can only happen if you test and #KnowYourStatus. The totally amazing part is that not only is your own health protected, but it is proven that you cannot pass the virus on, even through unprotected sex.

 HIV Self Test Kit - Buy Now

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