HIV home test
It is now possible to test HIV by using a HIV home test kit. Finland has introduced a CE marked HIV home test kit called Autotest VIH. You can carry out the test in the privacy of your own home by using a small drop of blood taken from your fingertip.
The test is reliable and easy to use. Hivpoint has evaluated the test kit in co-operation with Finnish authorities.
How to use the HIV home test?
We have explained how to use the Autotest VIH test kit in this easy to understand video.
Where to buy it?
You can order Autotest VIH test kits from Hivpoint’s online store or from Finnish online pharmacies. Unfortunately, the online stores and the test kits are only available in Finnish at the moment. Hivpoint is working on it and will have service in English soon. Until then, you can use online translators to help you order the tests and watch the instruction video above for the instructions on how to use the test.
There are many different HIV home test kits on the market. You can order them from the internet. Before ordering a test kit from an online store it is important to make sure the test kit is reliable. One good sign for reliability is the CE marking that indicates conformity for products sold in Europe.
What should be taken into consideration when doing a HIV test at home?
The test result given by a HIV home test kit is reliable only when it has been three months since the unprotected sex or other exposure to HIV.
Even though the HIV test result is negative, you may have been exposed to other sexually transmitted infections. Other STIs transmit much easier than HIV and you can have an STI even if you do not experience any symptoms. If you have had sex without a condom with a new or casual partner, you should get tested for other STIs as well.
When is a good time to do the HIV test at home?
We do not recommend to carry out the test during a weekend or holiday when it is difficult to get help on how to use the test or support after getting the result. We recommend to do the test when you have enough time and privacy to process the result.
It is important to take the test in a calm place with enough time, so that you have space to deal with emotions and thoughts that you may experience when reading the result. It would be good to consider whether you want to take the test by yourself or have someone there as support. Sometimes the result can be surprising and you might not want to share it with anyone. Everyone has the right to privacy in matters concerning their own health.
A negative result means that you don’t have HIV. The negative result is reliable when it has been three months since the unprotected sex or other exposure to HIV. If it has been a shorter time since the exposure, you need to do the test again when three months have passed.
A positive result means that it is very likely that you have HIV. The result must be confirmed by a health professional. The positive result may cause panic, anxiety or fear. We recommend to get support or counselling from Hivpoint or another healthcare provider to get information and support on living with HIV. With the right medication, HIV is a chronic illness with which you can live a healthy, long life.
How to confirm the positive result?
Every positive result has to be confirmed through a vein blood test. It is important that you contact a healthcare provider soon after receiving a positive result in the home test. The confirmation test can be taken at Hivpoint in Helsinki, Tampere and Oulu free of charge. Also other healthcare providers such as the public and private health care centers, student or occupational health services as well as STI clinics in some of the biggest cities in Finland take confirmation tests.
More information and counselling
Hivpoint’s helpline offers information and counselling if you have questions about HIV home testing. The number is +358 207 465 705 (from Monday to Thursday 10.00-15.30)
Counselling in English is also available in the crisis helpline operated by the Finnish Association for Mental Health. The number is +358 40 195 8202 (on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11.00– 15.00 and Wednesday 17.00– 21.00)
Please remember that if you have had unprotected sex, it is also important to test other sexually transmitted infections. We recommend to wait a week after the risk situation, or three months in the case of hepatitis or HIV. Services within public health care are for the most part free of charge, and in some cases, treatments and medication as well.
An untreated STI always significantly increases the risk of HIV transmission. Read more about other STIs.