About Self Screening
HIV Self-Screening kits offer you an accurate and private way to screen for HIV in the comfort of your own home.
Rapid HIV tests provide quick results and offer benefits such as convenience and privacy.
The OraQuick® HIV self-screening kits use an oral swab for testing and requires no blood.
By collecting oral fluid from your gums, you will be collecting HIV anti-bodies found in your saliva that give the screening result. This screening kit will give you results in just 20 minutes.
Why is the kit free?
HIV Self-Screening is currently being funded by Unitaid in South Africa to support the National Department of Health (NDoH) to increase access to HIV testing services.
To ensure widespread access to these kits, you are able to request a HIV self-screening kit for free from selected independent pharmacies. The funder of this project has covered all the costs for this initiative to increase access on behalf of the NDoH.
Find a Participating Pharmacy
Benefits of OraQuick® HIV Self-Screening kit
How to use the OraQuick® HIV Self-Screening Kit
You must follow the test directions carefully to get an accurate result. Do not eat or drink for at least 15 minutes before you start the test or use mouth cleaning products 30 minutes before you start the test.
Simply follow this step-by-step guide on how to take the test
* Full instructions in multiple languages are included in each kit. You can refer to these instructions when screening. Using the screening kit is easy, convenient and accurate!
Want to know more about HIV Self Screening?
Read the National Department of Health's HIV Self Screening Guideline of 2018Read Guideline
Frequently Asked Questions
HIV self-screening is a voluntary process in which:
- you collect your own oral fluid
- perform a screening test, and
- interpret the result, often in a private setting, either alone or with someone you trust.
HIV self-screening is one of the ways you can find out your HIV status. For some people, self-screening is a more comfortable option.
- You can test when you want to test – at any time of the day or night.
- You can test where you want to test – alone or with friend, partner, relative or health care provider.
The OraQuick oral HIV self-screening kits are highly accurate.
Screening yourself for HIV is important for your relationships, your life and your future.
- Self-screening is one of the ways that you can get to know your status.
- Knowing your status means you can keep yourself and your sexual partners healthy.
- Early diagnosis means you can act fast to ensure a long, healthy life.
If you have a positive result you need to have another test done by a health care provider to confirm the result.
If you are positive, you can access life-saving HIV treatment to prolong your life.
If you have a negative test, you could have been exposed to HIV in the 12 weeks prior to this HIV self-screening test i.e. you may be in the window period. Therefore, it is important to repeat the test in 12 weeks.
If you test negative, stay negative through:
- practising safe sex and using a condom
- staying faithful to one partner
- going for circumcision if you are a male.
If you are at all unsure of the result, you should have another test by a health care provider to confirm the result.
All HIV self-screening kits do not detect the actual HIV virus, they detect if your body has been exposed to HIV.
If it has, your body will have produced antibodies specific to HIV to defend itself against the virus. These antibodies can be detected in oral fluids. This does not mean that HIV can be spread through saliva.
The OraQuick oral HIV self-screening test takes 20 min.
Not at all! It is a pain free swab of your gums.
No, HIV self-screening kits are not suitable for those who are on ARVs. If you are HIV positive and on ARVs the screening test can show a false negative result.
No, anyone using ARVs, for either treatment or prevention, should not use a self-screening kit as it may give a false negative result.
Assisted HIV self-screening is recommended for children between the ages of 12 and 17 years. It is also recommended that testing of children below 12 years of age be done at a health care facility.
I’m worried I have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours, can I still use the HIV self-screening kit?
Yes, however, it can take up to 12 weeks to detect HIV after exposure. You need to visit your health care provider as soon as possible, where you may be able to access a course of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and have a blood sample taken to the laboratory for specialised testing.
No, the OraQuick HIV self-screening kits can only detect HIV.