As you can probably guess I take sexual health and well-being very seriously.
I believe that everyone has a right to good sexual health and that personal circumstances should not be a barrier to being able to pursue this right.
Of course, the reality of our world is never quite in line with any aspirations we may have, but there’s something to be said about promoting positive change in any way possible.
SelfDiagnostics UK is definitely doing this with their selection of products, among which the HIV Self Test is a profound and potentially hugely important addition.
If you’re looking for a reliable, discreet, and assuring health and wellbeing retailer then SelfDiagnostics is pretty much the best option available in the UK.
SelfDiagnostics uses it patented technology to create self-diagnostic tests that you can use in the comfort of your own home, without the need to see a doctor, thus removing the need to wait for ages in doctors surgeries! The tests they supply are used worldwide to detect a range of diseases from cancers, allergies and sexually transmitted infections.
With just £27.90 and 15 minutes of your time (well potentially a tad longer, but more on that later) you can check your HIV status is the comfort of your own home and with all of the security and assurance that this comes with.
I have had an HIV test at my University and I can attest to how daunting some may find it. The test was quick, easy, and went extremely well (with very friendly staff and an overall positive ambience) but that doesn’t stop the fear and/or apprehension that some people may have.
Just walking to the testing area I will admit that I felt nervous. I could only imagine how someone with a larger concern about their status might feel.
Of course, the AutoTest HIV Self Test is not made to deter from other methods of testing. Neither does it discourage those means of testing (which, I must emphasise, are actually fantastic, personal apprehensions aside). In fact, one of the limiting factors of the AutoTest HIV Self Test is that it cannot detect HIV infections that may have occurred within the initial 3 month period, so other means of testing are also vital.
But in all other instances, the AutoTest HIV Self Test is 99.9% accurate after only a single prick and a 15 minute wait time. No fuss, no at-home science attempts. Literally the only thing that you’ll need to provide outside of this kit is a way to time 15 minutes.
What you see is what you get (and it’s all you need).
So what does the kit contain then?
To put it simply, everything you’ll need. This includes:
1 x AutoTest HIV Self Test device
1 x Single Use Safety Lancet
1 x Plaster
1 x Disinfectant Wipe
1 x Sterile Pad
1 x Test Stand
1 x Dessicant Packet (to be discarded)
1 x Instructions
One of the things that I really loved about the AutoTest HIV Self Test is that although an in-depth testing guide is provided for those who wish to read it, SelfDiagnostics itself has a video you can follow as well on their product page, to guide you through every part of the process.
Yes to this.
I may be an adult product reviewer, but I was never the best student when it came to following instructions and I did not want to mess up. It eliminated all worry that I may have felt in doing this test correctly!
Now, yes, this kit does work by taking a blood sample and this means that a lancet is involved. The lancet is placed on the side of your finger and needs to be pressed down in order to create a little pin-prick wound, releasing some blood. This pricking sensation lasts for only a short time and is no worse than accidentally being jabbed by a thorn. This is where my test took a little more than 15 minutes though.
Although I knew the lancet would be relatively pain-free (and although I’d been jabbed multiple times before) forcing myself to self-jab was probably the most difficult part of this process. Willing myself to push the lancet down was one of the hardest things I’ve done in months and it was a true battle of wills with real physical effects.
But, as I said before, sexual health matters and I inevitably knew that the brief second of pain I would feel would be nothing compared to the reassurance that this test could provide.
Disposing of this kit is equally reassuring and simple.
Once you’ve used the lancet all you need to do is collect your blood in the given device and pierce it into place in the buffer bottle before waiting 15 minutes for your result. Of course, these aren’t the most comfortable 15 minutes in the world but, again, when at home you can do whatever you want with that time, rather than being confined to an anxious or otherwise awkward waiting period.
As with the instructions the AutoTest HIV Self Test makes your results very clear, cutting any uncertainty out of the process. Oh, and you even get a little plaster to put around your jabbed finger—very considerate.
Once you’re done with the test the AutoTest HIV Self Test advises on what you might need to do based on the results and offers a safe, disposable bag for use.
It’s at this point in my review that I would usually discuss downsides, but what is there to say against such a convenient kit? Yes, it requires a pricking yourself, yes, it may cause some issues for those who just can’t face needles, but overall the kit itself ticks all the necessary boxes and provides a service that I honestly believe will change the way that many people approach sexual health checks.
What is there to say except ‘Bravo’?
Bravo to SelfDiagnostics for selling such an affordable kit and reassuring product. And Bravo to anyone who decides to take their testing into their own hands and purchase one of these kits.
My finger may be slightly sore but my sexual health has been confirmed to me and my mind is at absolute ease. Through an intimate and inspiring process I took my sexual health into my own hands to get to this point and I urge others to do so too. You can get your own HIV Home Test here.