A large percentage of people in the world today are living with HIV without being aware of the fact that they have been infected with the virus. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the immune system by destroying cells responsible for an immune response. This infection has a window period whereby tiny antibodies are slowly generated by the body in response to the viral entry.
The symptoms of HIV are mostly confused with other medical conditions like malaria, typhoid fever, etc. Most times, infected people treat themselves for the wrong infection because they do not have a basic knowledge of symptoms and diagnosis of the particular infection in question. For HIV, which is also a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), a convenient diagnostic approach is the home HIV test kit available to easily test for the presence of the infection and determine if one is positive or negative to the virus in the body.
Symptoms of HIV
During the first few months of contracting the infection, the test result indicates that the virus is absent because of the window period. However, one might notice some mild symptoms at the early stage of the infection. These symptoms include:
- Muscular pain
- Rash in different parts of the body
- Pain in the joint
- Nodal swelling of the lymph
What to know about the HIV home test kit
Several points to note about this wonderful home HIV test kit include:
- The test is very easy to perform without the need of sophisticated equipment or special skills.
- The result is gotten almost immediately after the test is performed. It takes about 20 minutes or less to complete the test and get the result.
- A drop of blood can be used for the test.
- During the window period of HIV, the test result will be negative. This is because of the fact that antibodies for HIV which the test look out for have not been produced by the body yet.
- HIV home test kits have been legalized and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The test kits can easily be gotten from various drug stores across the country. One must be 17 years or above to be eligible to purchase the kits.
- After performing the test, the single line indicates negative result while double line indicates the positive result.
- Another test can be done at a clinic for confirmation of HIV status if your HIV home test result is positive.
- Saliva can also be used for the test, although, it may not be as accurate as using a blood sample.
- The HIV home test kit makes it easier for early diagnosis of HIV which will, in turn, enhance suitable management of the infection.
In as much as the test kit is important for everybody, there are those at higher risk of contracting the infection who must have these kits at home. These categories of people include:
- Sexual workers
- People with numerous sex partners
- People who recently had a cut from an unknown sharp object
- Those that have been transfused with non-perfectly screened blood
Types of HIV Home Test Kits
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States is the only legalized body responsible for the approval of home HIV test kits. At the moment, the approved types of home test for HIV are:
- Autotest VIH. The Autotest VIH can only be found in some parts of Europe because it meets quality standards of HIV home test in Europe. The blood sample from the finger can be used for the test.
- Biosure VIH. Biosure VIH can also be found in some parts of Europe. Just like Autotest VIH, the blood sample is required to perform this test and it takes about 15 minutes to get the result.
- Insti HIV test. In the Netherlands, the Insti HIV self-test was launched in 2017 as it also meets quality standards of HIV home test in Europe. This test can be concluded within 60 seconds.
How to perform the HIV home test with the aid of a Kit
- Get the test kit from a nearby drug store.
- The blood sample should be taken from either the fingertip or from the veins with a syringe.
- Add a drop or two of the blood sample to the portion of the test strip marked “sample”
- Wait for about 20-30 minutes for the result.
- The appearance of double line is a positive result while the appearance of a single line is a negative result.
The 21st century presents numerous solutions to various medical conditions as scientists are always working to improve the general health of the populace. The home test strip for HIV is available for anyone to use, thereby making the diagnosis of HIV easier and faster.
It is a known fact that people are scared to visit health centers for HIV test because of the stigma attached to people living with the virus. With the HIV home test strip, you can easily perform the test without anyone getting to know the result.
Be that as it may, it will be more convenient to present yourself to your physician if your test result is positive for further diagnosis and treatment.