Self-testing: do you know your HIV status?
I know my HIV status, do you?
When was the last time you got tested?
Apart from knowing your status, when you take the test, you take control of your sexual health. If we all get tested, we can stop HIV together since we will do the right thing depending on the status.
That said, it is now easier than ever to get tested from wherever you are thanks to the HIV self-test kit. HIV self-testing is quick, easy, and convenient.
What is HIV self-testing
HIV self-testing or home testing involves collecting your own oral fluid or blood and using rapid HIV tests to test if you have HIV or not. You basically perform the whole test yourself, including reading and interpreting the test result.
You don’t need to see a doctor or nurse to use self-testing kits.
HIV self-testing can be done at the comfort of your home at your own time or anywhere you feel comfortable doing the test. It gives you the power to decide when and where to test. It is confidential and quick.
You just swab and stick it in a tube, set a timer, sit back and wait for your results. In as little as 20 minutes, you will know your results. No matter your test results, you have a community waiting to support you.
Two lines mean you have HIV while one line means that you don’t have HIV. If there’s one line next to the ‘C’ and no line next to the ‘T,’ your result is negative. If there are two lines, one next to the ‘C’ and any line next to the ‘T’—even a faint line—you may have HIV.
How reliable are these tests?
HIV self-testing is very accurate but is recommended to test again twelve weeks after the last risky sexual activity for you to be sure.
What if I test negative?
If you test negative, you should consider prevention options like, testing, PrEP, and using condoms.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV, you are advised to get tested again after 12 weeks after the last risky sexual activity for you to be sure.
What if I test positive?
If you test positive, visit a healthcare provider to take a follow-up test to confirm your results.
Remember having HIV is not a death sentence. HIV diagnosis doesn’t have to stop you from living a full and healthy life.
With the right treatment and care, you can expect to live just as long as someone who doesn’t have HIV.
HIV shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you want to do in your life, whether it’s being in a relationship, having a family, or having a particular career.
Where can I find an HIV self-test kit?
You can buy one at a pharmacy, online e-commerce shops, or call or SMS 1190 free of charge for more information on where to get them.