The world’s most accurate HIV self-testing kit has gone on sale in the UK today. It is the first time a self-testing kit has been legally approved for sale in the country.
The BioSure HIV Self Test is supposedly 99.7 percent accurate and is the only kit of its kind to score CE mark approval.
Costing £30, the single-use, disposable kit allows users to determine their HIV status in their own homes using only a tiny drop of blood. The test must be performed from three months after infected exposure to ensure it is accurate, but results are delivered in just 15 minutes.
The technology within the test is very similar to that of a human pregnancy test. It looks for specific antibodies in the blood that if present will return a HIV positive result.
BioSure recommends that if people are particularly concerned that they may have been exposed to HIV, they should go to see a healthcare professional who can perform a test only six weeks after the incident. They should also go straight to the doctor if the test returns a positive result, the company says. It reminds users that the earlier a diagnosis is made and treatment started, the more successful it is likely to be.
It is estimated that over 107,000 people in the UK are living with HIV and that 24 percent of them are undiagnosed and do not know about their infection. Several thousand people in the UK contract the disease every year.
For those who wish to test themselves regularly, it’s also possible to set up a subscription to receive a test once every three months — the frequency with which BioSure recommends those who put themselves at increased risk of HIV exposure should take a test.