Talking about home testing for HIV

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Hiv biosure test results

Hi, I have taken 2 biosure tests, weeks apart, 3 years post exposure, both negative, but still have some hiv symptons. Something doesn’t feel right and not confident in results as heard of false negatives? Do I need to take a whole blood test at clinic? Are they much more accurate?

Have you ever had any reports of 2 false negative tests post window at biosure? What are the odds? Please, feeling very worried. Thanks.

3 Responses

Becky Smith, BioSURE UK LTD
 Work on 15th June 2020

Hi Stillunsure101, Of course, it is totally normal to question your result and we understand that some may feel more comfortable with a lab test. You are right in the sense that not everything can be 100% and yes false results do occur but these are still very rare and often we are able to investigate false results and find that they are a result of users testing inside of the window period. In these circumstances, we encourage the user to test again and we follow up with them to check that their result is accurate that second time around. We often recommend that if a person is anxious about their status from a more recent exposure, to visit a GUM clinic to get tested using a 4th generation test, as these tests have shorter window periods and therefore can detect infections sooner than our self test. Obviously, given the current pandemic, GUM clinics are closed but you are of course welcome to order a lab kit if that would help to reassure you of your status. These self sample kits are not necessarily more accurate but the fact that they are sent off to be tested by an expert, may give you that bit of reassurance that you may be missing when using a self test. I hope this information helps, Becky

 Used on 10th June 2020

Hi Becky. Thanks for reply and reassurance regarding test results. I suppose when you take 2 tests that are negative and don't feel confident in results, or relieved, especially when have some symptons, then you question whether you are unlucky in regards to false negatives, rare hiv strain, or one of those people who are seronegative and don't produce antibodies (in which case I could test 100 times and wouldn't be the fault of your test!) I know no test is 100%, and your test cannot be expected to be as accurate as lab tests (how could it?), and that sensitivity of 99.7% is high, but still this means on average 3 people out 1000 hiv people could be given false results. Sorry to list doomsday scenarios, but suppose just bracing myself for the gum clinics to open again to get a full blood test and face possible bad news. Alternatively, may it be better to do self sample test that send to lab? More blood=more accuracy? Thanks for your time.

Becky Smith, BioSURE UK LTD
 Work on 10th June 2020

Hi Stillunsure101, False negative results occur most often when users test inside of the window period. Since your possible exposure was 3 years ago and you have taken 2 BioSURE tests which are both negative, I would say it is around a 1 in a million possibility that both results are false. Usually when users test over a year after exposure, due to the nature of the strip, the test line is often very visible and easy to read. You can take a fourth generation or lab test if it may help to put your mind at rest. Self testing is not for everyone and we understand this but I would be confident in your results nevertheless. I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, please feel free to leave them below. Becky

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