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How does our test work and window period explained

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  

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

Each BioSURE HIV Self Test has an inbuilt control line (the top line) which lets you know you have added enough blood and performed your test correctly. If you do anything wrong or do not add enough blood no lines will appear, which means you can be confident in your result.

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 could still get a negative HIV test result because they will not have produced the antibodies to generate a positive result. This does not mean the person testing is negative.

Everybody makes antibodies at different rates. 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 make these antibodies 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. 

If you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 4 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.

If you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours you should go to your local sexual health clinic or A&E who will be able to prescribe you PEP, which is a course of anti-retroviral tablets that can stop the HIV infection