HIV-1 testing kits are now on the market and becoming very popular. There are more than a dozen home test kits for HIV advertised as available. However, only the Home Access test system is approved by the FDA and legally marketed inside the United States.
The new Home Access test is made up of several components, including instructions and materials for specimen collection and a mailing envelope to send the gathered specimen to the designated laboratory for analysis. The home test kit also includes pre-test and post-test counseling.
This FDA approved system uses a simple finger prick process for home Blood collection. You will send in the result including dried blood spots on the included special paper. These dried Blood spots are then mailed to a designated laboratory with a confidential and anonymous personal identification number (PIN), and there each is analyzed by qualified technicians in a certified medical laboratory using the same procedures that are used for samples that are taken in a doctor's office. The results are then obtained by the purchaser through a toll free telephone number using the assigned PIN. At this point, post-test counseling, if desired, is provided by telephone when the Blood test results are obtained.
The advertisers of the unapproved HIV home HIV Blood test kits claim that the presence of a visual indicator, such as a red dot, within 5 to 15 minutes of taking the test shows a positive result for HIV infection. These unapproved test kits use a simple finger prick process for home blood collection or a special sponge device for saliva collection. The blood or saliva sample is then added to a plastic testing device containing a special type of paper. A developing solution is added to determine if the sample is positive for HIV. The samples are not sent to a laboratory for professional analysis. Although this approach may seem faster and simpler, it may provide a less accurate result than can be achieved using an approved test, which is analyzed under more controlled conditions than is possible in the home.
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last updated 11/10/2004 bloodbook.com