Talking about home testing for HIV

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chance in a million?

Hi there

I recently did 2 self tests.

The first at 96 days and the second at 110 days. Both were negative, which is good!

But I must admit to still feeling a little disconcerted due, I think, to the lack of a ‘doctor’ telling me that all is good.

So I have two questions
1) Is the test sensitive to both HIV1 & 2?
2) How confident can I be of the double negative result being accurate? If I use the specificity figures from the website it looks like only 1 in a million chance of them both being wrong … which I suspect is better than a full blood test. (I have a problem with needles!! So trying to avoid that route)


3 Responses

Gary Carpenter, BioSure (UK) Limited
 Work on 27th November 2017

Hi Worried Girl Thanks for getting in touch. A negative test result for HIV is always encouraging. However, at this stage after infection any negative result could not be considered conclusive. You really need to test again 90 days after possible exposure. That's the bad news. The good news is that there is a very low probability of you having been infection from the type of sex described. There is also only around a 1 in 500 chance that the man in question is HIV positive. Combining these things means that overall the probability of infection is very, very low indeed. You have taken an important step in determining your HIV status, it's just a bit early to be certain. My advice would be to take comfort in the low chance, retest in a few weeks (12 weeks post possible infection is fine) and be safe in the knowledge that HIV is now a completely treatable condition and is not the life defining thing it used to be. I hope that this helps. If you need any further information please don't hesitate to get in touch again. Kind regards Gary Carpenter BioSure (UK) Limited

Worried girl
 Used on 24th November 2017

I did a biosure test after 3 weeks of having unprotected vaginal sex with a colleague from work. I am female, this man in question did not ejaqulate in me and the sex lasted less than 5 minutes. I don’t know his hiv status. That one came back negative. I have been worrying and worrying still since then. I have ordered another biosure test. I am so scared of the results. Is having one negative encouraging? Thanks!!

Gary Carpenter, BioSure (UK) Limited
 Work on 22nd November 2017

Hi bjapebl Thanks for getting in touch. Self-testing for anything is a bit of a double-edged sword. We provide a number of channels for people to get in touch. Whilst we are not doctors we are experts in HIV testing and work daily with clinicians across the world, so we do know something about the subject and are always more than happy to support testers through this process. So to answers your questions: 1) Yes the device is equally sensitive to HIV-1 and HIV-2 and in fact all of the known sub-types and circulating recombinant forms. 2) Very confident. It's probably not as simple as just multiplying the probabilities together. That wouls be true if false negative results were always due to the same type of systematic error. But sometimes a false negative result will be due to the person. What we can definitely say is that the probability of them both being wrong is way, way less than 1:1,000. And will definitely be more accurate than a single equivalent full blood serological test. I hope this answers your question but if you need any more information please contact me again. Kind regards Gary Carpenter BioSure (UK) Limited

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