What is HIVST?

HIV self-testing is the process in which a person who wants to know their HIV status performs a HIV test and interprets the result in private. HIVST is generally performed using rapid test kits, such as tests which use fingerstick (whole blood) or oral-fluid. 

It is important to note that HIVST does not provide a diagnosis. All reactive (positive) self-test results need to be confirmed according to national algorithms. Non-reactive (negative) self-test results are considered negative. In accordance with existing WHO re-testing guidance and many national policies, individuals who test (including a self-test) in the "window period" ( 6-to-12 week period before individuals develop HIV antibodies and HIV rapid tests can detect antibodies) or are at on-going risk for HIV should be encouraged to re-test.