(More customer reviews)Taking an HIV test isn't easy, I know. I've taken three HIV tests in my life, all with the same result: HIV positive. Why take an HIV test when I already know that I'm HIV positive? As the author of the book, The First Year: HIV, I was curious about this product.
Originally, I reviewed the HIV Home Express Test. Basically, the Standard Test is identical. But instead of offering results in 1-3 business days, the Standard test offers results in 3-7 business days. Otherwise, they are the same test: FDA approved, accurate, timely results, anonymous but with a "live person" for questions about your results.
My test arrived in a standard Amazon box, just like a book from Amazon. If you're worried about being discreet, it's just fine. Inside the test kit, you'll find some instructions, advertising, envelopes, bandages, and two little blue things called Lancets.
I found the instructions to be a little confusing. It's not as easy as you're first led to believe. Honestly, I was so confused by the "pre-registration" process that I lost my motivation and put the test away for a few days. I imagine many people lose motivation to follow through.
When I finally got inspired, I washed my hands, studied the blood sample collection card, and pricked my finger with the Lancet. It felt like a paper cut. I had a hard time squeezing out enough blood to fill the dime-size circle on the collection card. When I finished, I sealed the card into the provided envelope, put that envelope into the pre-paid FedEx package, and shipped it off.
Home Access delivers on their promises of being accurate (100% for me) and FDA approved (other cheaper and unregulated HIV tests can be found online; avoid them). The test certainly is confidential and anonymous. When I called to get my results, the phone counselor was to-the-point, sincere, and helpful.
Overall, the hardest part was waiting and wondering. For me, it was well over two weeks, from ordering the test from Amazon, understanding what to do, struggling with motivation, squeezing blood, shipping the sample to Home Access, waiting through a weekend and a holiday, and then getting my results. For the Standard Test, figure about three weeks to get your results. Don't let yourself worry or obsess during this time.
Ultimately, the real value of an HIV test is in knowing your results. If you test HIV negative, carry on. If you test positive, relax. It's not the end of the world. A positive test result means you've been exposed to the virus, that's all. It doesn't mean you're a bad person or God is punishing you. And it doesn't necessary mean that you'll need medicine any time soon.
Of course a positive test result can still rock your world. But remember, the reality is that -- in 2008 in the developed world -- there is excellent medicine to keep the virus at bay indefinitely. I've been positive for over 20 years and today I have a pretty good life. In fact, the knowledge focused my attention to maintaining good health, not just with HIV, but with all areas of my life.
Either the Standard or the Express tests from Home Access are fine. Personally, I'd go with the Standard Test, take advantage of the free shipping, and save money. Both tests provide verification of your results by mail or email (should you need to prove it). Ultimately, the test offers you knowledge. Knowing your results can save your life. Knowing is better than not knowing; it gives you the power to take control of your health and make better choices. In my opinion, it's money well spent.
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Please note: Due to packaging updates, the image shown may temporarily appear different from the product received.Contains one single-use sample collection kit for the detection of antibodies to HIV-1FDA Approved Greater than 99.9% Accurate Reliable as Tests Used by Doctors and Hospitals*Confidential and Anonymous Results in about a week Results and Counseling Available by Phone Postage and Lab Service Included*Archives of Internal Medicine 1997; 157:309-314For in-vitro diagnostic use. Accurate ~ The Home Access® HIV-1 Test System was evaluated in U.S. multi-center clinical studies and is as accurate as tests used by doctors and hospitals and is FDA approved. Convenient ~ May be used at home. Results, medically supervised counseling and referrals available by phone. Confidential and AnonymousAdvantages of Home Access System:FDA approved Accurate Test Results ~ Reliable as tests used by doctors and hospitals Safe ~ Clinical Proven 98% of users collected a blood spot as well as medical professionalsConfidential and Anonymous Postage and Lab Service Included All in four easy steps Printed Test Results AvailableContents:1 Instructional Insert 1 Things You Should Know About HIV and AIDS Insert 1 Blood Sample Collection Card with Home Access Code Number 1 Alcohol Prep Pad 1 Gauze Pad 2 Lancets 1 Adhesive Bandage 1 Sample Return Pouch 1 Cardboard U.S. Mail EnvelopeDo Not Let Contents Get WetObtain results, healthcare counseling and referrals by phoneConfidential and AnonymousSame lab tests used by doctors and hospitalsGreater than 99.9% accurateThe Home Access® Guarantee:Home Access Health Corporation guarantees that you will be 100% satisfied with your purchase or we will replace your kit or refund your money. We guarantee that all Home Access test results are completely confidential and anonymous. A valid Co
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