HIV Home Test Kits Hit the Market

HIV Home Test Kits hit the MarketThe latest trend in ‘Do-It-Yourself ‘ kits may be bad for your health and leave your wallet empty.  The health industry is promoting and marketing all types of medical diagnostic tests that can be done at home.  The selling point is privacy, not accuracy.  Not all tests are definitive and require additional testing in a healthcare setting.  The newest product to hit the market is the HIV home test kit, which is found in different brands both online and in drugstores.

The HIV home test kit is simple, but not totally effective.  A person uses the provided swab to collect fluids from inside their mouth and then waits 20 to 40 minutes for the results.  No blood is involved in this test.  The privacy of taking the test at home is well worth the anxiety of knowing the outcome.  The false positive or negative is only preliminary, as the individual is encouraged to call a support hot-line and visit a regular doctor for standard testing.  The HIV home test kit only identifies the anti-bodies that can cause HIV, but it is not 100% accurate.

The privacy of testing can cause a range of mixed feelings and uncertainty.  It is not a guarantee to an answer and not totally private.  The cashier at the store will know you or a friend is testing for HIV, the shipping agent online will package the test and see your name, and the refuse collector may spot the empty package in your weekly trash.  A spouse or roommate may arrive home unexpectedly early while the test is being timed.  The fact that it may not be totally private and worse yet, inaccurate, may not be worth the money.  If one has reason to believe they could have the HIV virus, it should be dealt with by a trained professional.

A multitude of medical home tests kits have become popular in recent years, but should be used and viewed as a first step before seeing a doctor.  The medical staff will run more inclusive tests to determine a truer result.  Sometimes, even further testing is needed for certain ailments and conditions.  Along with the HIV home test kit, the public can test themselves for just about anything.  The long standing pregnancy test has been joined by a urinary tract test, sperm check fertility test, blood type test, blood sugar test for diabetes, allergy home test kit and several others.  Most surprising is the bipolar disorder test for a mere $400.

The home test kits have become huge money makers, but leave the patient high and dry concerning proper treatment.  Whether or not a test is positive or negative, may or may not persuade a person to see a doctor.  Living in fear of the unknown, concerning a possible medical condition, can cause some to steal the product, so as to protect their privacy.  Aside from the medical issues associated with home test kits, the retailing industry has taken a hit with providing loss prevention employees, in-store cameras, locked shelf space and additional security.  HIV home test kits may have hit the market, but stores, doctors and people have taken the real hit.


By: Roanne FitzGibbon

USA Today

Women’s Day

Web MD