About Self Screening

South Africa has two HIV self-screening kits available: the INSTI blood-based self-screening kit and the OraQuick® oral self-screening kit.

HIV Self-Screening kits offer you an accurate and private way to screen for HIV in the comfort of your own home. Both kits are used by public health professionals globally.

Rapid HIV tests provide quick results and offer benefits such as convenience and privacy.

Both screening kits are very easy to use and highly accurate!


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INSTI blood-based self-screening kit

A blood-based HIV Self-Screening Kit which gives you the option to conveniently screen yourself with a small sample of blood that you collect yourself.

It is a good option for people that want instant results. The screening kit does not detect the virus itself, but it detects the antibodies that are produced by your body to fight the HIV virus using a drop of blood, with high accuracy.


OraQuick® HIV self-screening kit

Uses 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.

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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 this website inclusive of all delivery costs. The funder of this project has covered all the costs for this initiative to increase access on behalf of the NDoH.

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Which kit is for me?

Each screening kit offers an accurate result. You can self-screen to find out your HIV status in private and in your own time! Choose a kit that best suits your preferences.

The INSTI HIV Self-Screening kit
  • Requires only a drop of blood

  • Takes only 1 minute to give you a result

  • No waiting

  • High level of accuracy

  • Screens for the earliest HIV antibodies

The OraQuick® HIV Self-Screening kit
  • Conduct a pain free swap of your gums

  • Takes 20 minutes to get the result

  • Easy to follow instructions

  • High level of accuracy

  • Screens for the earliest HIV antibodies


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.

Watch our 3 min video on how to take the test

Or 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!


How to use the INSTI HIV Self-Screening Kit

You must follow the test directions carefully to get an accurate result. The INSTI self-screening process with an INSTI kit requires you to collect your own blood sample, drop the blood in a small bottle solution numbered 1 (as per instructions provided with the kit), that you will shake and pour into the screening device that will give you your HIV result.

The INSTI HIV self-screening takes no more than five minutes to perform and results appear instantly. Do not wait longer than 5 minutes to read your results.

Watch our 6 min video on how to take the test

Or simply follow this step-by-step guide on how to take the test

Continue to screen periodically. If exposed to HIV, screen again in 3 months. Continue to protect yourself against HIV.
  • Use condoms
  • Reduce number of sexual partners
  • Men can consider voluntary medical male circumcision
  • Consider PrEP to prevent HIV
  • Call the AIDS Helpline on 0800 0123 122
Visit your nearest clinic as soon as possible for a confirmatory test.
Visit your nearest clinic to test with a Health Care Worker.

* 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 2018

Read Guideline

Frequently Asked Questions

HIV self-screening is a voluntary process in which:

  • you collect your own oral fluid, or supply or drop of blood,
  • 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.

Both the INSTI blood-based and 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.

With a one-minute process and results appearing straight away, the INSTI HIV Self-Screening kit is a good option for people who don’t want to wait for their results.

OraQuick oral HIV self-screening is a good option for people who don’t like to have blood drawn or their finger pricked.

The INSTI HIV self-screening kit does not detect the actual HIV virus; it detects 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 your blood.

Yes! INSTI requires you to use a drop of blood to screen yourself. HIV is a blood-borne virus, therefore antibodies that your body uses in response to HIV are produced in blood.

The INSTI self-screening process with an INSTI kit requires you to collect your own blood sample, drop the blood in a small bottle solution numbered 1 (as per instructions provided with the kit), that you will shake and pour into the screening device that will give you your HIV result.

The INSTI HIV self-screening takes no more than five minutes to perform and results appear instantly. Do not wait longer than 5 minutes to read your results.

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.

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, both the INSTI and the OraQuick HIV self-screening kits can only detect HIV.


Do you need support or have questions on HIV?

Please contact

National AIDS/HIV helpline (toll-free)
0800 012 322
New Start
011 484 5320 or sfhnational@sfh.co.za
OUT
012 430 3272 / 066 190 5812 or hello@out.org.za
Triange
021 712 6699
ANOVA
011 581 5000