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HIV Selftest

The test arrived in plain packaging as promised one working day after ordering. I am a gay man who enjoys receiving anal sex but within the last year or so have found condoms to be unpleasant in use by producing a burning sensation compared to just skin contact. Not a great fan of lube either – too sticky and messy. So I found I was wanting bareback sex more frequently than when I was younger. As a consequence I have regular HIV tests, usually at gay venues, the same quick result test, but the process involved what amounted to a 30 minute interview about my sexual habits and my awareness of the risks. One health care individual was what I considered to be over the top in his eagerness to get me to test for just about every STI discovered. Too much for me, so as over a year had gone by I decided to use BioSURE and do it myself without good intentioned, but over the top advice.
I found the test itself to be professionally packaged and good instructions generally. These do need careful reading. However I did manage to use the pin prick device upside down so actually picked the wrong finger rather than the one I was aiming for. I only realised when there was blood all over my hand. Anyway I managed to press out a decent bubble and the test then went fine.
The control line appeared within a few minutes, so I wondered whether this effectively meant I was negative as I suspected the test line would have also appeared more or less at the same time, as the guys doing the other accompanied tests said this is what normally happens. Anyway the minutes ticked on and no second line appeared, so I became more relieved, but then I thought perhaps the second line only appears after 15 minutes when you lay the test tube horizontal, so a slight panic crept in. Anyway after 15 minutes I lay the test tube into its slot and still only one line.
I suspect the 15 minute wait is longer than it needs to be, maybe to allow for ambient temperature differences?
So the test suited me much better than doing one accompanied, but this may not be for everyone. I was also more worried than other previous HIV tests as I had had a bout of illness which internet research indicated might be caused by HIV exposure. My advice is to do something during the 15 minute wait if you can.
Like many, and especially after the brief illness, I wondered if I actually wanted to be tested, but I concluded not knowing was worst than knowing. Obviously I’m relieved. I should say I’m 60 years old, and only receive unprotected. I don’t have a partner, just casual sex at gay venues with guys who I believe should also know the risks. Therefore I don’t believe I’m being irresponsible but others will disagree. I also regularly sunbathe and own a tanning bed, seldom drink and don’t smoke.
Finally, I think more and more people are growing to dislike condoms because quite simply they spoil the whole sex sensation for straights and gays. I’m quite amazed that a liquid barrier preventative, or cheap pill hasn’t been developed to stop STIs. Whoever does it first would make an absolute fortune.
Please don’t flame me for my views and opinions. We are all different, and weigh up the risks versus the benefits differently.

1 Responses

 Public on 13th April 2016

Thank you so much for your post. There are a wide range of condoms and lubes available (Skyns (non latex) and Uberlube are highly recommended) but we do believe that everyone is fully entitled to make their own choices. The more informed and confident those choices, so much the better. You are completely correct in stating that knowing your status is far better than not knowing. Even with a positive diagnosis, treatments that are available now are so effective that viral loads can become undetectable - meaning your own and other people's health are protected. If you don't know and don't treat, then the outcome is inevitable. There are two reasons for the 15 minute wait time - you are correct in that dependent upon the amount of blood applied, the test can run at various speeds, but the second point is that the background discolouration needs to disappear so that a faint positive test line can be easily seen. It would not appear just by laying the test down after 15 minutes. The fact that a clear, single control appeared means your test result is negative and that enough human blood was applied and the test ran correctly. Again thank you for your story, we believe your choice to test, whether BioSure or through other testing options, is inspirational.

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