The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is designed to give users privacy, accuracy and a preliminary test result for HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies. Tests can be purchased at participating stores and completed at home in 20 to 40 minutes, not including time spent reading the detailed instructions on how to complete the home HIV test. Before taking the OraQuick test, it is important to understand the testing procedure as inaccurate test results can occur with improper testing techniques.
What does the test measure?
HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies are present in oral fluids. Oral fluids collected from the gum line are used for the test, not saliva. The test is qualitative, which means it tests for the presence of HIV antibodies. The OraQuick test does not test the amount of antibodies in oral fluid so darker test results do not indicate a more prevalent infection.
How long does the test take to complete?
The OraQuick test takes 20 minutes to develop. The test results are accurate for 40 minutes, in total. This means you need to read the test results within 40 minutes of placing the test stick in the test tube. After 40 minutes the test stick may overdevelop causing an incorrect test result.
What do the letters C and T stand for on the test?
You will notice two letters on the test stick – C and T. C is the control line. There will be a red line next to the C when the test is complete for both negative and positive results. The T is the test line. If there is a line next to the T, no matter how faint, the test is positive. If there is no line next to the C the test has not worked properly and you need to retest for an accurate result.
Can pregnant and breastfeeding women taken the OraQuick test?
Yes, OraQuick is approved for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Many obstetricians suggest STD testing as part of prenatal blood work. HIV testing may be suggested at this time. If your prenatal blood test was negative and the OraQuick test was positive, talk with your obstetrician or family doctor about your testing options.
When should I take the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test?
According to OraQuick, take the test at least three months after the risk-taking behavior you are concerned may have increased your risk for HIV infection. Taking the test before this time could result in inaccurate results.
The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is not foolproof. Eating, drinking or brushing your teeth prior to testing can affect results, so refrain from these activities for at least 30 minutes before taking the test. Certain medical conditions or medications may also affect the test, so read through the booklet provided before taking the test if you have concerns.