OraQuick HIV Self Test
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What is OraQuick HIV Self Test?
OraQuick HIV Self Test is the most technically advanced HIV self-test available, providing an incredibly accurate result within minutes, simply and on your own terms. No HIV test is easier - just a simple and pain-free swab of your gums. No blood. No labs. No questions. 3 simple steps - just swipe, dip and you’re done. OraQuick HIV Self Test can detect antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2. Included in this test kit is an OraQuick HIV Self Test device, a tube containing buffer solution, a test strand, instructions for use and a disposal bag.
How to use this test
Do not eat or drink for 15 minutes before performing your test. Do not use any oral cleaning products like toothpaste or mouthwash for at least 30 minutes before performing your test. To start, gently swab the pad along your upper gums once and your lower gums once, using either side of the flat pad. Then put the test directly into the test tube where indicated in the upper portion of the test kit. The test window will turn pink for a few minutes. Do not read your results before 20 minutes have passed. Once your results are ready, you must read between 20 and 40 minutes from the start time.
When should I use this test?
You can test from 4 weeks after your most recent exposure and although encouraging, you should not rely on a negative result until 12 weeks after your most recent exposure. This is because people make antibodies (seroconvert) at different times depending upon their own immune system and this is what is referred to as the ‘window period’.
By 4 weeks, about half of people have made detectable antibodies and by 6 weeks this has gone up to about 95%. However, some people do not produce antibodies until later. By 12 weeks, 99.9% of people have made antibodies. If you test within 12 weeks of possible exposure and your test result is negative, you should test again 12 weeks after the possible exposure. A positive result is always a positive result regardless of the window period.
How accurate is this test?
OraQuick HIV Self Test has a proven accuracy of 99.7%. The sensitivity (if a person has HIV, how often the test will correctly be positive) is 99.9% and specificity (if a person doesn’t have HIV, how often the test will correctly be negative) is 99.8%. This test has a built-in sample control line, which means the control line can only appear if you swab your gums and perform your test correctly.
What should I do if my test is positive?
If you get a positive test result, you must get your result confirmed by a healthcare professional. Try not to worry, HIV is a treatable condition if you know your status. Just one antiretroviral tablet a day can suppress the virus to undetectable levels, meaning your own health and life expectancy are protected and as importantly, the virus cannot be passed on.
What is HIV?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that damages cells in your immune system and weakens your ability to fight regular infections or diseases. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged by the HIV virus. With early detection and treatment, most people with HIV will not develop any AIDS-related illnesses.
How does HIV spread?
HIV is found in the bodily fluids of an infected person, however, it cannot be transmitted through sweat, urine or saliva. The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is through unprotected anal or vaginal sex (without a condom). You can also get HIV by sharing needles, syringes or other injection equipment, and it can also be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.
How to prevent HIV
Anyone who has sex without a condom or shares needles will be at risk of HIV infection. The best ways to reduce your risk of HIV infection are:
- Using a condom during sex
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Treatment for HIV to reduce the viral load to undetectable
- Never share needles or other injection equipment (syringes, spoons, swabs)