HIV Home Test Kit

With this HIV home test, you’ll have results within a couple of days

If you are concerned about HIV, this HIV home test kit lets you get checked without having to see a doctor or nurse. You take a small blood sample, mail it to our partner laboratory to get your results.

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Medicine Quantity Strength Price
HIV test1 test kitN/A£27.99
Prices exclude a prescription fee. Find out more. Prescription products require an
online consultation with a doctor who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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About

What is HIV?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is a viral infection that attacks T cells, a type of white blood cell, reducing the body’s ability to protect itself against infections, diseases and other conditions.

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It damages your body’s immune system by attacking and destroying T cells, a type of white blood cell which fights infection. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and is the final and most advanced stage of HIV. AIDS is the condition that develops when the immune system has been severely damaged by the HIV virus.

HIV symptoms

Many people live with HIV for years without realising that they are infected. However, most people who contract HIV will experience flu-like symptoms a few weeks after contracting the virus. Look out for:
 

  • High temperature
  • Sore throat
  • A rash on your body
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Swollen glands

Experiencing these symptoms does not automatically mean that you have HIV, but it’s a good idea to see a doctor if you are concerned.
 
Although HIV can be symptomless for up to 10 years, it is still active during this time, causing damage to the immune system. Eventually, the infected person will experience symptoms that reflect their weakened immune system. These may include:
 

  •   Weight loss
  • Frequent infections and illnesses
  • Oral thrush
  • Cold sores
  • Night sweats
  • Skin problems
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Tiredness
  • Serious illnesses such as TB, pneumonia and some cancers can be contracted due to a weakened immune system.

 
By getting a diagnosis early, you can get treatment to help prevent the damage to your immune system.
 

What are the long term effects of HIV?

If it is not treated properly, HIV can cause serious damage to your immune system. AIDS is the condition that develops at stage three of HIV, when the body’s ability to fight infection is seriously weakened. At this stage, the risk of developing a life-threatening illness is greatly greatly increased, as the body is extremely vulnerable to what are known as opportunistic infections (IOs).

How does the HIV test work?

The test works by detecting a protein in the blood that is present in HIV cells and in the antibodies your body produces to fight HIV. A positive result indicates HIV.

How to use the HIV home test kit

The HIV Home Test Kit is easy to use. With clean hands, you will need to take a blood sample from a fingertip by using the lancet provided. Fill the container with blood, and send it to our partner laboratory for analysis, using the secure packaging and labels included within the kit. You will get a result within a few days.

How will I find out my results?

You will be contacted with your results 2 days after the lab receives your blood sample.

How reliable is the HIV home test kit?

The test kit is very reliable. It is over 99% accurate, meaning that the chances of getting the wrong result are less than 1 in 1,000. Very rarely, it may give a false positive, showing that a person has HIV when in fact they don’t. If you are unsure, you can confirm your result by taking another test.

Note that there is a ‘testing window’ of 4 weeks for HIV blood tests. That means that the test will reflect your HIV status 4 weeks ago. It may not pick up HIV if you were in contact with the virus less than 4 weeks before taking the blood sample.

How accurate is this test?

Home HIV tests are considered to be very reliable, and use the same testing method as the NHS. If your results come back positive, you will need to go to a HIV or sexual health clinic as soon as possible for a confirmation test.

What should I do if I get a positive result?

Getting a positive result in your HIV test can be a shock. The first step is to talk to your GP, who will be able to give you a check-up, answer any questions you may have, and refer you to the HIV services you need to stay healthy. There are also helplines and HIV organisations which can offer support. Contact the Terence Higgins Trust for more information.

Treatment Options

How is HIV treated?

Thanks to large amounts of research, HIV can now be effectively treated. Those who are at a high risk of contracting the virus may chose to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a preventative measure. A similar drug, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can prevent the virus from taking hold if taken within 72 hours of initial infection. If you test positive for HIV, you will be treated with antiretroviral drugs.

Is there a cure for HIV or AIDS?

There is currently no cure for HIV, and research into its remission is ongoing. However, with good treatment it is possible to maintain a high quality of life despite being infected with AIDS. Furthermore, the right treatment can leave the virus ’undetectable’ in the system, at which point it is not transmittable.

How to live with HIV

Thanks to developments in treatment, people with HIV are able to live much longer and with a much better quality of life. Asa result, not all cases of HIV progress to AIDS, the final and most serious stage. If you test positive for HIV, the best ways you can help yourself are:

  • Seek a medical consultation and treatment as soon as you know your result is positive
  • Make sure your healthcare provider has experience in treating HIV
  • Follow your treatment plan strictly, making sure to take your medication regularly
  • Learn as much as you can about the virus and how it can influence your life
  • Seek support from friends and family, social care providers and mental health workers
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to stay well rested and try to exercise regularly. If you need advice on how to follow a healthy diet, seek the advice of a dietitian. 

Q&A

Will anyone be able to tell what’s inside the package?

No, our HIV Home Test Kits come in plain, discreet packaging. Nobody will be able to tell what’s inside the package when it is delivered to your door.
 

Is the home test kit confidential?

Yes, the test is 100% confidential.
 

If I get a positive HIV result, am I obligated to inform my employer?

In most jobs, it’s entirely up to you whether or not to disclose your HIV status. Most employers are not allowed to ask if you are HIV positive, and if you do choose to inform them, they cannot discriminate against you because of your status. They must keep your HIV status confidential and provide reasonable adjustments to help you if appropriate.

However, if you are a healthcare worker who risks exposing patients to the virus (for example, if you are a surgeon or a dentist), you must have an HIV test when you apply. You must also tell your employer if you subsequently get a positive HIV result, so that adjustments can be made to help you do your job safely.

Who is at a higher risk of HIV?

Anyone can contract HIV, regardless of their sex, ethnic origin or sexuality. However, certain groups are at higher risk of contracting HIV than others:
 

  • Men who have sex with men
  • Black African people (both men and women).

 
People in these groups are advised to take regular HIV tests if they are sexually active and are not using condoms.
 

Why are men who have sex with men at a higher risk of HIV?

Men who have sex with men are at a higher risk of HIV for a number of reasons. The following factors help to explain why men who have sex with men are more likely to contract HIV:

  • Unprotected anal sex is more risky than unprotected vaginal sex, in terms of passing on HIV, because the walls of the anus are more likely to tear, which can allow the virus to enter the bloodstream
  • Men who have sex with men are more likely to have multiple sexual partners, statistically increasing the risk of contracting STIs including HIV
  • In many countries and cultures, gay sex is illegal or taboo. This prevents HIV positive people from getting the tests, treatment and advice they need, making them more likely to pass it on to others.

Is this test designed for men who have sex with men?

Men who have sex with men are a high-risk group for infection with HIV and are advised to take an HIV test (like this Home Test Kit) regularly (at least once a year) if they are having unprotected sex. However, the test kit is suitable for anyone who may have contracted HIV, or who wants to find out their HIV status.

Can you catch HIV from kissing?

It is almost impossible to catch HIV from kissing. The only instance in which this could occur if is both participants had bleeding gums and blood from the infected partner entered the bloodstream of the negative partner.

Can you contract HIV by any other means that sex?

HIV can be transmitted via means other than sexual contact. As a blood-borne infection, it can be spread through the sharing of drug injecting equipment, sharing of tattoo or piercing needles, being accidentally pricked with a needle, or by a blood transfusion. HIV can also be passed from a mother to her child in the womb, during birth, and through breastfeeding.

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