The HIV home test kit which can be taken by a person sitting at home, has been debated by politicians, AIDS activists and doctors for a long period. The main apprehension was that a person detecting positive through a HIV home test might be a victim of an inaccurate result and such test might increase the risk of a suicide. However, over the years, these fears have proved unfounded and FDA in 1996 approved two home collection kits for HIV home test. People could do HIV home testing privately and get the results from a certified laboratory as also counseling by calling a toll free telephone number. Observers generally argued in favor of HIV home test which provided increased access, anonymity and privacy. With FDA's approval, the anonymous HIV home testing was available to all and many purchased the kit. No increase in rate of suicide was reported.
There are certain advantages in conducting HIV home test. A person getting the test done in a clinic may be identified, whereas the HIV home test can be done in complete privacy. The tests can be ordered or bought through internet and is a convenience for disabled persons. The FDA approved tests are accurate and dependable. There are a few disadvantages too. When you order the HIV home test kit either on phone or through internet, your name and address must be given. A close search may reveal your identity. Another problem is that after you dispose off the testing kit, the garbage man may notice it and will know that you have taken a HIV test.
In many cases infections due to Sexually transmitted diseases are detected at a later stage and the body has already been damaged by then and it's also late for the treatment. If early testing is done with HIV home tests, treatment can be timely done and progress of the disease to non curable state can be halted. It is true that some infections cannot be cured but there onset to lethal stage can be prevented. Late testing may also fail to prevent STD infections from spreading. In the interval between infection and diagnosis infected persons may transmit STD to others. This can be reduced through the early testing by HIV home testing.
An element of doubt remains in the minds of many about urine and saliva being the medium for the spread of HIV and if at all the home testing of these can be recommended? It is true that urine and saliva are very unlikely sources for HIV infection. Urine is not considered to be infected by HIV. Any HIV urine test is therefore unreliable and no conclusion should be drawn from the test.