Somehow going someplace to get it done seems an intrusion into one's privacy and you really need to work up enough courage to go there, slink in, get it done and rush out.
Well, there's something now that's just made things so much easier and much more private - the home HIV test.
That's right, now an HIV/AIDS test can be done within the privacy of your home.
The Home Access Test is FDA-approved it really is quite simple.
It is a 3-part test - the specimen collection, followed by the mailing to the laboratory and then comes counseling which could be pre- and post or both.
All you need to do is to collect the blood after you prick your finger, put it onto the paper designated for it and mail it.
The laboratory that you mail it to has a PIN number that is confidential and all you do to get your results is to call a particular toll free number with that PIN at the designated date.
This is the enzyme-linked immunoassay or the ELIZA test with Western blot procedures, the same as the ones done at the physician's clinics.
They have been known to be reliable.
This is a great test to have done as soon as one suspects that one has been exposed.
If after six months, there is still no positive result, one can rest easy that one is negative.
The great thing about this test is the fact that the person can stay totally anonymous and there is no need for anyone to know his name.
All results will only be through a code number which only the person will have.
The Home Access test has been proved almost totally effective but is not to be used if you are on blood thinners or anticoagulants which may skew the results of the test.
The standard kit is priced at $49.
95 and the express one sells at $59.
There are a number of drug stores that stock these kits too and the price could vary between $45 and $70.
The kits are very popular and they are approved by the Food And Drug Administration but there are some states that did not quite like the idea of a user being anonymous.
It was felt that an infected person should be traceable and kept track of.
The federal courts however, have upheld these tests as legal.
Some states have outlawed this kind of testing though.
One of the most popular kits comes from a division of Johnson and Johnson - Direct Access Diagnostics.
The results will be made known to the user through a toll free number after seven days.
The kit consists of a needle, paper to collect the blood after pricking your finger, alcohol swabs to disinfect, band aids, a mailing envelope and a PIN or personal identification code.
There's also a toll free number to call for the results.