HIV self-testing means that a person can purchase or otherwise obtain their own test, do the test themselves and get their results right away, similar to a home pregnancy test. This means they do not have to go to a facility, clinic or doctor’s office.
Everything with a self-test is done by the person testing, where they want and when they want, including connecting to care and prevention services as needed after testing.
It is important to note that if these initial self–test results are positive, the person testing should go to a clinic or health care provider to have a “confirmatory” test done so they can get a diagnosis, since a self-test—while highly accurate—is a screening test.
The self-test is different from self–sample collection devices or programs that are available for public use, such as mail-order kits, which require a person to send a sample of their blood or dried blood spots to a lab for testing.