Can I get an HIV test to use at home or in a private location?
Yes. These are known as HIV self-tests. There are two kinds:
- A Rapid Self-Test is done entirely at home or in a private location and can produce results within 20 minutes. You can buy a rapid self-test kit at a pharmacy or Learn More. The only rapid self-test currently available in the US is an oral fluid test.
- A Mail-In Self-Test includes a specimen collection kit that contains supplies to collect dried blood from a fingerstick at home. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing and the results are provided by a health care provider. Mail-in self-tests can be ordered through various online merchant sites. Your health care provider can also order a mail-in self-test for you.
Check to see if the health department or other organization near you is providing a rapid self-test for a reduced cost or for free. Directly purchased self-tests may not be covered by private health insurance or Medicaid. Be sure to check with your insurance provider and your health care provider about reimbursement for tests that are self-purchased.
Note: State laws regarding self-testing vary and may limit availability. Check with your health care provider for additional testing options.
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