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How The Biosure HIV Test Works & HIV Window Period Explained

Our tests are designed to provide fast and accurate results while testing discreetly at home, or at a place and time or your choosing. BioSure’s HIV Self Test is over 99.7% accurate and needs only a tiny drop of blood to determine your status. Here is how our test, and its window period, works.

 

How the HIV Self Test works

 

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 everybody makes them at different rates. 

The BioSURE HIV Self Test uses technology very similar to a pregnancy test, but it detects the specific antibodies to HIV (not actual HIV).

 

What is the HIV Window Period?

 

The time from when HIV infection occurs to when a test can correctly give a positive result is called the ‘HIV window period’ or ‘HIV test window period’. During this period, someone who has been infected with HIV could still get a negative HIV test result because they may not have produced the antibodies needed to generate a positive result. This does not mean the person testing is negative.

4 weeks after exposure about half of people have made the antibodies, by 6 weeks after exposure this goes up to about 95%, however some people don't make these antibodies until up to 12 weeks after infection. This is why it is so important not to rely on a negative test result until 3 months after your most recent possible exposure.

 

How to know you have done your test correctly

 

A truly vital part of HIV self-testing is that you have to know if you’ve done your test correctly, so if you’ve not performed a part of your test correctly you should not get any result. The only way to do this is to have a true Sample Control Line.

One of the most common questions we hear is, “have I done my test correctly?” We can confidently say that IF you have got at least one line on your BioSURE HIV Self Test, then yes you have, because if you do something wrong; maybe don’t add enough blood or don’t push your test in far enough then NO LINES WILL APPEAR.

 

How accurate is the Biosure HIV Self Test?

 

Our test is proven to be extremely effective at diagnosing HIV. Extensive research has evidenced our kit to be exceptionally usable and tremendously accurate when performed correctly.

It has a proven clinical sensitivity (if a person has HIV how often the test will be positive) of 99.7%, and a proven clinical specificity (if a person doesn’t have HIV how often will the test be negative) of 99.9%.

If you are at all unsure of your result you must go and see a healthcare professional to perform another test.

 

What to do if I may have been recently exposed to HIV?

 

If you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours you can go to your local sexual health clinic who should be able to prescribe PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) which is a course of anti-retroviral tablets that can stop the HIV infection.

 

Next Steps

 

If you want to learn more about HIV please visit our HIV FAQs page, or to learn more about the BioSure HIV Self Test visit our HIV test self-test FAQs page.

Making sense?

If you have questions about HIV self testing feel free to get in touch, we'll be glad to help info@biosure.co.uk

You can also message us anonymously on Whatsapp: 07763489170.

There are thousands of stories and questions that you can have a look at or join the conversation, on a free and anonymous independent social enterprise site called PEBL