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Taking the OraQuick HIV In-Home Test

A Video Blog

By Justin B. Terry-Smith

November 13, 2013

At first, when I learned of this test I was skeptical. But if it is going to benefit people I figured I'd try it myself, even though I already know I'm HIV positive. This test has made me think of how far we have come in HIV testing. Before it was a blood test that you have to wait at least 2 weeks for. Now it's a 20 minute test you can take at home. This test came into play about June/July of 2012. It can be found online as well as your local drug stores including Walgreens, CVS, Sears, WalMart etc.

According to the Huffington Post, in a trial conducted by test maker Orasure, OraQuick detected HIV in those carrying the virus only 92 percent of the time, but was 99.9 percent accurate in ruling out HIV in patients who are not carrying the disease.

That means the test could miss 1 in 12 HIV-infected people who use it, according to the FDA, but would incorrectly identify only one patient as having HIV for every 5,000 HIV-negative people tested.

I was wondering if someone found out that they were HIV positive what does the test tell them to do. It states:

Call our 24/7 support center toll-free at 1-866-436-6527. Your call will be completely confidential. You will only be asked for a zip code or city in order to help you find what you need.

To locate organizations offering HIV/AIDS services, visit

You can also use the HIV Provider Directory at

I took the test to see if it was fast and easy as many people say that it is. Well in my opinion it is.

This test may also help the stigma of going out to get test when you can do it in the privacy of your own home. But the important thing is that everyone get tested. If you're positive don't worry, always get a second opinion. If the 2nd opinion still says you HIV positive STILL don't worry. Your life is NOT over. Get Support.

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See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on Home HIV Testing

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Scott (Indianapolis ) Wed., Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm UTC
I know many feel these tests are bad, saying they give people a false sense of security to not having any support at home. Well, I was told in the hospital. I didn't get any support. Just the opposite.

I think there are many who will never ask their doc for a test and will not go to a clinic. For them, these tests are good. I am hoping the newly approved test that can detect HIV in acute stage will make it to home use. Again, many argue it is ridiculous to test a partner at home before sex. I take the opposite view. If you are inclined to go bareback, then I think this (especially the new test that can detect in acute phase) will help some prevent infection. Of course, that's if they can afford the test. Besides just a trick, many people start relationships and plan to go get tested together. However, many end up going bb with their new boyfriend or girlfriend, before they make it to the doc or clinic together. If you could have this test at home, then I think that could prevent many infections.

So, I'm all for empowering people with tools to test. If you live in a small town, many would be reluctant to test at their doc or clinic. People talk and people know your business in a small town. Even in larger cities, many want to know their status, but fear what happens with name reporting.
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Comment by: Nicholas (Tulsa) Mon., Jan. 6, 2014 at 10:48 pm UTC
Works perfect. I taken the test went to vacume around
The house & came back & it changed my life forever.
I just froze inside & thought hm can't be correct & so ran out got another one . But same thing positive . I would have loved to test the guys I had sex with if I only knew how easy the test was. If your into bareback sex & are negative it's better then nothing . Now might not show all infections due to test lag
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Justin's HIV Journal

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own website, and he's even on YouTube. He is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their son, Lundyn. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. He welcomes your questions.
(Photo credit: Don Harris)

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