Why Test for HIV?

HIV is just three letters – it’s not a sentence. Sometimes people with HIV are described as having AIDS, this is not correct. AIDS is a syndrome that develops if HIV remains undiagnosed and untreated for a long time. Becuase of advancements in treatment, you can now live a long and healthy life with HIV without ever developing AIDS. But only if you #KnowYourStatus.

People living with HIV and taking anti-retroviral treatments (ARTs) correctly can achieve viral suppression, which means that the virus is reduced to such low levels that they actually become undetectable.

U=U (Undetectable equals Untransmittable) is a global campaign that is unequivocally backed by science. U=U means the virus does not cause damage to your immune system, so you can live an active and healthy life with at least a normal life expectancy. Incredibly it also means can't pass it on - not even through unprotected sex! This is how a woman living with HIV can have an HIV-free baby.

If we are just able to get everyone to know their status and get on treatment, we can stop onwards transmission and ultimately end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. So each one of us has our part to play! 


How accurate is the OraQuick HIV Self Test 


BioSure proudly brings you the latest technology in HIV self-testing. And for the first time, no blood is needed! The test detects the antibodies to HIV, not the virus itself and because of this state-of-thee scientific innovation you can now #KnowYourStatus from a simple oral fluid sample.

The OraQuick HIV Self Test is proven to be extremely effective at diagnosing HIV. Extensive research have evidenced this kit to be exceptionally usable and tremendously accurate when performed correctly. 

The OraQuick HIV Self Test has proven accuracy of >99.8%.

It has a proven clinical sensitivity (if a person has HIV how often the test will be correctly positive) of >99.9%, and a proven clinical specificity (if a person doesn’t have HIV how often will the test be correctly negative) of >99.8%.

For us, the most important thing is that you can trust your result. OraQuick has what is called an in-built sample control line and not all tests have this. For the negative (control) line to appear you have to have performed your test correctly and added enough oral fluid. If you do your test wrong no line will appear - so you can trust your result.

Many blood-based tests have what is called a procedural control line and this means that the negative (control) line will appear just by adding any solution. You have no idea if you have performed your test correctly! In our opinion that's a risk that is just not worth taking.   

Don't forget, if you are at all unsure of your result you should go and see a healthcare professional to perform another test.


Why is testing for HIV important?

If you may have been at risk of exposure to HIV then it is always better to know and find out your HIV status. Knowledge is power. If you have HIV then the earlier you are diagnosed the better because anti-retrovirals are now so effective that with correct, regular treatment someone living with HIV can expect to live a long healthy life and have a normal life expectancy. But if you don't know, you can't treat.

There is a global plan to end AIDS by 2030 and the first step is for everyone to know their HIV status - so we all have our part to play. 


Types of HIV Test


There are three main types of HIV Testing:

  • Visit a sexual health clinic where a blood sample is taken by a medical professional and sent away to a laboratory. You find out your result days or weeks later.
  • Home HIV self-sampling kits are a postal service where you use the kit to take your own sample of blood and then post it off to a laboratory for analysis. You get your result days later via either phone or text (depending on your result).
  • HIV oral fluid self testing kits require an easy and pain free swab of the gums (to obtain an oral fluid sample) and gives you your result while you wait, without anyone else being involved. There have been significant advancements in technology for oral fluid HIV self testing and these tests are now extremely accurate and more importantly a blood sample is no longer needed. 
HIV testing methods graph

What are the advantages of using an oral fluid test? 

Technology in oral fluid HIV testing is now so advanced that oral fluid HIV self tests are as accurate as blood-based test. So you no longer need to prick your finger for an accurate HIV self test result. 

The OraQuick HIV Self Test is the world’s easiest HIV test. 

  • Needs just an easy and painless swab of the gums
  • Extremely accurate - 99.8%
  • Gives you your own result in just 20 minutes – No questions. No labs. No waiting.


    Who Should Get Tested?


    In the UK, according to Public Health England, 95% of people diagnosed with HIV acquired it through sexual contact, mainly through unprotected vaginal or anal sex. It is possible to catch HIV through unprotected oral sex but the risk is far, far lower. In 2020: Of the 106,890 people living with HIV in the UK approximately 5,150 remain undiagnosed. People who remain unaware of their HIV status are unknowingly the source of the majority of new infections.

    Regardless of your HIV status everyone needs to have knowledge of HIV and how it is transmitted. Understanding safer sex and the effective use of condoms are crucial in protecting your own and others health. This can help to give confidence in negotiating safer sex and addressing possible risk-taking behaviour.

    If you had unprotected sex and the other person didn’t know their HIV status, you now don’t know yours. But, taking ownership and fixing this situation is completely possible and the power to make that decision is in your hands. Knowledge is power and you are always better off knowing your status, especially as HIV is treatable.


    Next Steps


    If you want to learn more about HIV please visit our HIV FAQs page, or to learn more about the OraQuick 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 on WhatsApp: 07763 489170.