General Test Questions

Why get tested for HIV?
Generally speaking, there are a number of reasons that prompt a person to take an HIV test. Whether it is entering a new relationship, a couple’s desire to know each other’s status, switching birth control, reassurance for a healthy pregnancy/delivery, desire to play team sports, purchase of life-medical insurance or concern you may have been exposed to HIV through unprotected sex, exposure to human fluids, or the sharing of a needle - getting tested for HIV can help foster peace of mind, regardless of your test result. And, if you are concerned about testing positive for HIV, it is important to recognize that today, more than ever before, there is new medical treatment and technology that is helping thousands of people infected with HIV lead healthier, active and longer lives. Knowing your HIV status as early as possible is key to effective treatment.

Who gets tested for HIV?
Anyone who is sexually active and/or an intravenous drug user. AIDS doesn’t discriminate so people from all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds, age, financial means, and geographical locations take advantage of at-home HIV testing.

How many people take these home HIV tests?
Over half a million people have successfully used this same HIV home test kit.

What exactly is an HIV antibody test?
The human body makes antibodies to fight all kinds of infection. If you become infected with HIV, your body creates HIV antibodies. Just like doctors' offices and clinics, our HIV test kit tests your blood for the presence of HIV antibodies.

How soon do these antibodies show up?
In most infected people, the antibodies will show up in the blood within 1 to 3 months after exposure, with the average period being 25 days. However, in some people, it might take up to six months. This is important because the test may not detect recent infections. For example, if you became infected in January, you may not test positive until June.

Do I need to get tested more than once?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine HIV tests. A negative result means that no HIV antibodies were found in the blood at the time it was drawn. It ordinarily takes 3 to 6 months for people infected with HIV to develop enough antibodies for HIV to be accurately detected. Therefore, it is recommended that you get tested again. Click here for more information.

What does FDA approved mean?
The entire testing service has been scientifically reviewed for safety and effectiveness by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA granted the manufacturer nationwide clearance to market its product on July 22, 1996. The at-home telemedicine HIV counseling and testing service is the ONLY such service available in the United States approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the past, FDA has warned consumers against purchasing or using any HIV testing service (especially over the internet) that has not been FDA approved.

Will any medications or medical condition affect the test results?
The test is not recommended for hemophiliacs or those on anticoagulant therapy. Either group should consult their physician before using this kit.

For more detailed information, please visit our AIDS/HIV facts page.