HIV SELF TEST FAQ's
Is an HIV Self Test the right choice for me?
HIV self-testing is not suitable for everyone. You may want to talk to someone before performing your HIV test and also consider what you are going to do when you get your result - whether positive or negative.
How does the BioSure HIV Self Test work?
The technology is very similar to a human pregnancy test. The process detects specific antibodies in your blood sample, (not actual HIV) and this is what produces the second line (Test Line).
How accurate is my BioSURE HIV Self Test?
The test is extremely effective at diagnosing HIV. Extensive research has proven this test is tremendously accurate when performed correctly, with similar accuracy to a pregnancy test.
What does ‘proven clinical sensitivity’ and ‘proven clinical specificity’ mean?
Proven clinical sensitivity refers to when a person who has HIV how often the test will be positive.
Proven clinical specificity refers to when a person doesn’t have HIV how often the test will be negative
BioSure HIV Self Test has a proven clinical sensitivity of 99.7% which means that on average 997 in every 1,000 positive results will be correct.
Your BioSure HIV Self Test has a proven clinical specificity of 99.9% which means that on average 999 in every 1,000 negative results will be correct.
What should I do if I’m not sure about my result?
If you are at all unsure of your result you must go and see a healthcare professional (link)to perform another test.
Why do I have to wait until 3 months after exposure to test if I have HIV?
Everybody makes antibodies at different rates and there needs to be enough antibodies in your blood sample to be able to detect them. A negative result may not be accurate until 3 months after infection because it can take your body that long to produce enough antibodies.
What should I do If I think I’ve been exposed to HIV within the last 6 weeks?
You should go to see your local healthcare professional who will be able to send a sample of your blood for a laboratory test.
What is an antibody?
When your body detects something harmful (like a bacteria or a virus) your immune system starts to produce antibodies to try and defend your body. Each type of antibody is unique and this is what is detected by your BioSURE HIV Self test.
What is the ‘window period’?
This is the time from when HIV infection occurs and when a test can correctly give a positive result. During this period, someone who has been infected with HIV will still get a negative test result because they will not have enough HIV antibodies in their blood sample to generate a positive result.
I’m worried I have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours, what should I do?
You need to visit a specialist HIV clinic or A&E department as soon as possible, where you may be able to access a course of PEP (anti HIV medication). This test will not give you an accurate result only 72 hours after potential exposure.
I can’t find the buffer bottle – where is it?
It is in the end of the device. You need to pull it out of the end and place in the round hole in the box.
The buffer bottle won’t fit into hole –what should I do?
It needs to be foil side up to fit in the hole.
The lancet won’t click -–what should I do?
You may have already clicked the lancet by mistake, it will only work once. Phone BioSure Customer Care on 0860 023 930
Will using the lancet hurt?
Not really, it is best to use your middle or ring finger and the sides of the tip of your finger as there are fewer nerve endings there.
Does it matter which finger I get the blood from?
No, the blood will be the same from whichever finger you get it from.
How does the tip automatically fill up?
The patented design of the BioSURE HIV Self Test device means the blood sample is taken into the tip automatically by capillary action.
My test hasn’t started to run –what should I do?
Make sure the device tip is fully pushed into the buffer bottle right the way to the bottom. The test can only run when the tip is fully inserted. Push the device down firmly until it will go no further.
Why does the test have to stand up?
Because the buffer and sample solution has to run up the test strip contained within the device. The test cannot run properly if it is run laying down, the control line may not appear and then your test result will not be valid.
What happens if my test falls over while it is running?
Stand it up as soon as possible. Your test should still work if it has only not been standing up for a short time. You will know if your test has worked by the appearance of the control line after 15 minutes.
My completed test won’t fit securely in the Results section of the box -–what should I do?
Leave the buffer bottle on the device, it will then fit snugly into the cut out shape in the box.
I can’t see any results –what should I do?
Make sure the blue wording is facing towards you when you place the test device into the cut out shape in the box.
How do I dispose of my test?
A sealable, opaque polythene bag is included with your test. Place all the components back into the box, place this into the bag and seal. You can then throw the bag away discreetly with your usual rubbish.
How will I know if my test has run correctly?
All BioSURE HIV Self Test devices have an inbuilt sample control line to ensure that the test has been performed and run correctly. If the control line does not appear your test has not worked. Please throw your test away as described above and retest with a new device.
How do I know if my result is correct?
Your test result will only be greater than 99.7% accurate after 3 months following exposure to HIV. This is because your body may not have produced enough antibodies for the test to detect. Within the 3 months following your exposure incident, your negative test result may not be accurate. If you have any doubts about your result or have any symptoms you should visit your local healthcare professional. If you are not sure of the exact timing of the risk incident, you should test again after 3 months.
My HIV Self Test result says ‘positive' what do I do now?
Firstly, don’t panic. Your BioSURE HIV Self Test, is extremely accurate but you must go and see a healthcare professional who will perform another test to confirm your result. The earlier diagnosis is made and treatment started, the more successful the treatment will be. With early diagnosis and treatment you can live a normal and healthy life. You can phone the National AIDS hotline on 0800 012 322, Love Line on 0861 322 322 or Love Life on 011 523 1000. Or visit www.hivselftesting.org.za to find your nearest clinic.
It is really important you seek medical advice if you get a positive result.
Remember: HIV is 3 letters, not a sentence and living a rewarding normal life coping with HIV is now entirely possible.
My BioSURE HIV Self Test result says ‘My test result is negative’. What do I do now?
You must remember that from initial HIV infection it can take up to 3 months for your body to produce enough antibodies for your test to give a positive result. If you have any doubts about your result or have any HIV symptoms you must contact a healthcare professional who can perform a confirmatory test.
Don't put yourself at risk based on your test result. Using condoms is an effective and easy way to protect your own and others sexual health. Choose to Stay Negative.
How often should I test for HIV?
If you make choices that put you at an increased HIV risk exposure it is a good idea to test every 3 months.