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Here are pros and cons of at-home HIV test kits

Knowing your status is the best way to help end the HIV epidemic

SAN ANTONIO — At-home HIV test kits are making it easier for people to test themselves.

Knowing your status is one of the best ways we can help end the HIV epidemic. At-home tests are just one tool that gets us a little closer to that goal. Jake Picker, an HIV tester and Outreach Specialist for the San Antonio Aids Foundation told us, "It's an actual HIV test kit that anyone can conduct anywhere on their own or if they choose to be in a particular environment where they take this test. This test gives them the opportunity to do so."   

Because it is an at-home test helps break down barriers such as hiv stigma, transportation and cost. Belia Cantu, the program coordinator for University Health's at-home HIV test kit program added, "That home test kit provides a little bit of ease and safety's safeness and and just gives them like, okay, I can do this."  

The Oraquick In-Home HIV Test has 92% test sensitivity. That's the percentage of results that will be positive when HIV is present. It also means a false negative would be expected out of every 12 results. It also has a 99.98% test specificity which is the percentage of results that will be negative when HIV is NOT present. That means you'd get a false positive once out of every 5,000 results. 

Cantu said, "A lot of the times people don't want to go to the clinics. They're scared they might be seen by somebody or somebody that works there, might see them." Picker added, "It's important to find a health care provider that knows more about HIV prevention and treatment that can help you navigate the process of determining what the next step following your test will be."  

OraQuick also provides a phone number in the package so if you do take the test at home, and it comes back positive there will be someone to talk you through the result 24/7.

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