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World AIDS Day 2017:Rapid HIV testing kits in India — How to get tested at home

Dec 04, 2017

HIV test kit -- How to use it, what is the cost, how to read the results and more on this HIV testing kit answered.

To get tested for HIV/AIDS, we all know that you need to go to a lab (ICTC),where you give three or five samples as recommended and get the results after a day or two.This approach for HIV diagnosis is not only time consuming, highly priced and most importantly, not every person is forthcoming as the person is scared of a third person knowing about his HIV status. And to deal with this, the Government has come up with an HIV test kit — a simple at-home testing kit to detect HIV infection.The latest in the field of HIV diagnosis, Dr V Sam Prasad, Country Programme Director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation explains everything you need to know about this rapid HIV testing method. Here’s more on HIV diagnosis — 5 tests to detect a recent HIV infection.

Rapid HIV testing — what is it?

Just like pregnancy test kits, the HIV rapid test kit is a one finger prick testing device. Available at chemist shops and diagnostics stores, this test kit is easy to use.This test kit is accredited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and GMP certified.

How it use it: Once you open the testing strips, you will see that it has a test strip with a small lancet or needle about a cm long. Prick your middle or forefinger to get a drop of blood. The test kit has a small well that can hold a drop of blood, so put the blood in the well. As you put it, the blood is drawn inside the paper tip which is coated with a chemical that absorbs the blood into the strip.Here are all your questions on getting tested for HIV answered.

How to read it: The kit has two lines, one control and one test. If both the lines change colour, then it indicates that the person is HIV positive. If the control like appears red and the test line doesn’t, then it indicates that the person is HIV negative. The colour turns red, meaning two red bands will appear, only when the HIV virus is present. Check the picture to know how to interpret the results.

HIV test results

When to check the results:The line starts appearing in ten minutes, but to be on a safer side, it is recommended to wait for 20 minutes,where it is very clear. Sometimes due to the weather or some other storage conditions, there are chances that the test strip might turn slightly pink or light red. Hence do not check the results quickly but wait for 20 minutes for the colour to turn dark.