There are two FDA-approved over-the-counter HIV tests now available to the public.
Home Access Health has launched an educational web site, www.HIVhometestfacts.com, to help consumers compare the products and their accuracy. The site explains how the tests work and offers additional resources on HIV/AIDS education and support.
Home Access Express HIV-1 Test System uses a self-collected fingerstick blood sample, which is sent via Fed-Ex to a lab for analysis; results are available the day the sample is received by the lab, by telephone.
OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, approved July 2012, relies on self-collected oral fluid and gives results in 40 minutes. A preliminary positive result must be confirmed by a professional lab.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the window in which individuals who are positive test negative can range from 4 weeks to 6 months. Most HIV tests can detect antibodies within 2 months.
If a person tests negative, but has reason to believe that they have been exposed to HIV, repeat testing is encouraged.
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