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Why test for HIV?

Treatments now are so good, that with an early diagnosis and correct anti-viral treatment that is taken regularly, the virus can be suppressed to such low levels it becomes undetectable. This means that that not only is your own health protected so that you can live a long and healthy life, but incredibly, you can't pass it on.

Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U) is a global movement to help educate people about how treatable HIV is and help to end the epidemic. BioSure is a proud U=U partner.

But to know if you need to take treatment, your first step is to test. Because if you don't test, you don't know - and if you don't know, you can't treat.

Why test regularly?

Some people have a single possible exposure to HIV whilst others may be more at risk more frequently. Testing regularly for HIV, in the same way as you would regularly visit a dentist, means that you stay in control and can be confident in the choices that you make.

We offer a subscription service, so you don't have to remember to re-order. Just click here to find out more.

Why is testing for HIV important?

Knowledge is power.

If you may have been at risk of exposure to HIV then it is always better to know and find out your HIV status. If you have HIV then the earlier you are diagnosed the better, because your own health won't be damaged and you won't unknowingly pass it on.

There is a global plan to end AIDS by 2030 and the first step is for everyone to know their HIV status - so we all have our part to play in creating the world's first HIV free generation.

Join the BioSure army of HIV warriors and #KnowYourStatus.

Types of HIV Test

There are three main types of HIV Testing that use blood to test:

- Visit a sexual health clinic where a blood sample is taken by a medical professional and sent away to a laboratory. You find out your result days or weeks later.

- Home HIV self-sampling kits are a postal service where you are sent a kit to collect your own sample of blood into a tube at home and then post it off back to a laboratory for analysis. You get your result days later via either phone or text (depending on your result).

- HIV self-tests require a much smaller blood sample (BioSure requires only 1/160th of the volume required for home sampling) and you perform your own tests and get your own result while you wait, without anyone else being involved.

What are the advantages of using a blood test?

Blood contains 300 times more antibodies than oral fluid. That is why an HIV test that uses blood is so accurate.

The BioSURE HIV Self Test is the world’s easiest HIV test.

It has an accuracy of more than 99.7% and needs just a tiny drop of blood from a finger prick sample (which doesn't hurt, we promise!) You get your own result in just 15 minutes.

Our test automatically collects just the right amount of blood in the tip of the test, so you don't have to measure anything. Most importantly it has a special in-built sample mechanism so the control line will only appear if you have put enough blood into the test. If you haven't then no lines will appear - ensuring you can be confident in your result.

No questions. No labs. No waiting.

Who should get tested?

In the UK, according to Public Health England, 95% of people diagnosed with HIV acquired it through sexual contact, mainly through unprotected vaginal or anal sex. It is possible to catch HIV through unprotected oral sex but the risk is far lower. Of the 110,000 people living with HIV in the UK approximately 12,000 remain undiagnosed. People who remain unaware of their HIV status are unknowingly the source of the majority of new infections.

Regardless of your HIV status everyone needs to have knowledge of HIV and how it is transmitted. Understanding safer sex and the effective use of condoms are crucial in protecting your own and others health. This can help to give confidence in negotiating safer sex and addressing possible risk-taking behavior.

If you had unprotected sex and the other person didn’t know their HIV status, you now don’t know yours. But, taking ownership and fixing this situation is completely possible and the power to make that decision is in your hands. But power is knowledge and you are always better off knowing your status, especially as HIV is treatable.

Next steps

If you want to learn more about HIV please visit our HIV FAQs page, or to learn more about the BioSURE HIV Self Test visit our HIV test self-test FAQs page.

If you have questions about HIV self-testing feel free to get in touch, we'll be glad to help

You can also message us on WhatsApp: 07763 489170.

There are thousands of stories and questions that you can have a look at or even join the conversation, on PEBL - an anonymous independent social enterprise site.