An HIV self test is a convenient and affordable way to detect the virus. Most self-tests require a finger prick or oral fluid (swabped around the outer gums next to the teeth). A self-test can detect antibodies to the virus or detect antibodies to the p24 antigen – but not both. Moreover, some HIV self-tests cannot detect recent HIV infections.I strongly suggest you to visit to learn more about this.
HIVST programs use a combination of multimedia instructions, video tutorials, and a 24/7 hotline. They include information on how to get HIV prevention, care, and treatment, as well as how to obtain a self-test kit. Moreover, they include details on STIs and viral hepatitis, which are frequent co-infections among those with HIV.
Currently, HIVST is delivered through various channels in the public and private sectors. These include internet-based tests, community-based tests, and facility-based testing. Some of these tests also offer oral fluid or blood-based tests. These varied approaches are useful for different populations. Therefore, the development of HIVST is expected to contribute to meeting the 90-90-90 targets.
However, HIVST is not recommended for use by individuals who already know their HIV status or who are taking ARV drugs. Its accuracy depends on possible errors in performing the test, as well as the period in which HIV infection is detectable. Individuals with a known HIV status should seek retesting and/or facility-based HIV testing.
HIVST is considered a cost-effective alternative to RDTs in settings where HIV testing coverage is lower. However, it is not a low-cost alternative to HTS in many settings. In fact, more countries are moving towards ‘treat all’ policies where all HIV-positive individuals will be given antiretroviral therapy (ART). This will lead to more health benefits than the cost of an HIV-ST kit.