Home testing past, present and future: lessons learned and implications for HIV home tests

AIDS Behav. 2014 May;18(5):933-49. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0668-9.


The recent approval in the United States of the first rapid home test to diagnose HIV raises questions about its potential use and impact. We reviewed the existing literature on the unassisted use of home tests involving self-collection and testing of biological samples by untrained users-including existing HIV self-testing studies-to shed some light on what can be expected from the availability of the HIV home test. The studies reviewed showed that most participants could properly perform home tests, obtain accurate results, and interpret them-yielding high correlations with laboratory and health-professional performed tests. Users often had trouble performing blood-based tests. Participants generally understood the need to confirm positive test results. Materials accompanying HIV home tests should emphasize symptoms of acute infection and the need for additional testing when recent infection is suspected. Different home-test-based screening modalities, personalized HIV-counseling resources and HIV home test impact evaluation methods should be studied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / methods*
  • Adult
  • Counseling
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic / trends
  • Self Care / trends*
  • United States


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic