HIV self-screening test

What to know before taking a HIV self-screening test

So, you have decided to get yourself a self-screening test (also known as a self-test). Well done! It’s a smart decision. 

You may be feeling nervous, which is completely normal, but remember you can take the test in the comfort of your own space and at a time when you are ready. 

4 steps to doing HIV self-screening: 

  1. The first thing you need to do is to read the instructions clearly. You will find the instructions inside the box. 
  2. Read the expiry date on the test to make sure the test is still valid. If it is expired your results will be wrong.
  3. Once you take the test, you will have to wait between 15-20 minutes before you get your results.
  4. When you have finished with your test remember to put all the test equipment back in the box, put it in a plastic bag and throw it in the dust bin.


You may be scared or angry or shocked if your test result is positive. That is also normal. But remember, being HIV positive is not a death sentence anymore. People with HIV can live a completely normal life in every way.

If your test result is positive, then you’ll have to go to the clinic and get tested again to confirm the test results. If you test positive there, they will help you start treatment so that you can keep living a normal, healthy life.

If your test result is negative, it’s an opportunity for you to think about your strategy for staying negative, which may include taking PrEP.

You can find out more about PrEp here

Want to find out where else you can go to get tested? Click here

Curious about when you need to get tested for HIV? Check out this article

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