HIV home testing kits were approved in the US in July 2012. The over-the-counter test involves the participant taking a swab from their upper and lower gums, and this provides quick results for HIV in 20 to 40 minutes in your own home. These are different from home sample collection kits where you provide a sample of blood or urine at home and then send this to a laboratory for analysis.
At this present time in the UK, it is illegal to offer HIV home testing kits where the sample isn’t sent off to a lab. But should home testing kits be made legal in the UK?
FDA officials argue that these home testing kits will be aimed at those who might not get tested in a clinic. Many people are also totally unaware that they are a carrier of HIV and are passing it on to others. It is estimated that a quarter of the 86,000 people that currently have HIV in the UK, do not know they have it. A recent survey showed that more than 35% of people who are HIV positive could have been diagnosed at an earlier date if home testing kits were made legal.
Some health professionals argue that HIV testing shouldn’t be legalized. This is because people who are HIV positive are encouraged to seek professional help and support when they find out their results. On the other hand, HIV home testing kits will offer many advantages to individuals, such as convenience, privacy and independence.
If you are worried about your HIV status then Better2know can help. We offer fast results that are available within 1 to 3 days, depending on the location. Many of our clinics also offer rapid HIV testing so you can know your status immediately. You don’t even have to give us your real name. To book an appointment call us on the number provided above.
This guest post was written by Jessica Delaney, a communication student at Sheffield Hallam University.