The INSTI HIV Self Test by bioLytical Laboratories
1 in 7 people with HIV are unaware they have the virus, according to a report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. There’s really no need for anyone to be in the dark about their HIV status. You don’t need to go to a clinic to test for it, you can self test for HIV in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
How HIV Infects People
HIV is found in the bodily fluids of an infected person, including blood, semen and breast milk but not including sweat or urine. The most common way of contracting the virus is through anal or vaginal intercourse without a condom, accounting for over 95% of cases. Other ways of getting HIV include:
- Using a contaminated needle or syringe.
- Transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.
- There have also been cases of HIV being spread through unprotected oral sex, but the chances of this are very small (about one in 5,000).
How To Self Test For HIV
Introducing the INSTI HIV Self Test developed by bioLytical Laboratories. The test was created following research revealing that over 103,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and an estimated 18,100 remain unaware of their positive status.
Now, this HIV Self Test isn’t something that I’m merely writing about on the basis that it’s a great idea. No, I’m going to be taking the test myself. And I’m going to show you every step of the process, and publish my results. I want to reveal just how easy it is to self test for HIV.
How Does The Test Work?
The INSTI HIV Self Test provides instant results after a simple finger prick and a dot of blood, and is over 99% accurate. Some other home HIV tests keep individuals waiting as long as 15 to 20 minutes post-test for the results to be displayed – or, in the case of laboratory tests, it can be several days or weeks.
The INSTI HIV Self Test kit also includes a resource card which provides information on where to get answers about general HIV-related questions as well as advice on screening.
Knowing whether you have HIV is the first step towards getting effective treatment, living a normal life and – very importantly – taking steps to ensure you don’t pass on the virus to anyone else.
You can do all this simply by buying and taking the INSTI HIV Self Test in the privacy and anonymity of your own home. Why wouldn’t you?
The INSTI HIV Self Test: In The Box
The INSTI HIV Self Test contains everything you need to get a clear result, literally within minutes.
Opening the box, I saw it contained:
- A clear and easy to understand self test booklet, plus instructions for use
- A pouch containing the ‘membrane unit’ (a small dish where the chemicals are mixed in order to display your result)
- A pouch with a lancet and a plaster to put on your tiny finger cut afterwards, and a pipette to collect the blood for the test
- 3 small bottles: Diluent, colour developer and clarifying solution (1, 2 and 3)
- Information leaflets/resource card
- An easy seal and unmarked/discreet disposal bag for all the waste at the end of the test.
Tips Before You Start
Before you dive in and start tearing things open, it’s best to read the clearly labelled instruction leaflet which has very helpful graphics. You need to do just a bit of preparatory work and then you’re set to continue with the test.
Make sure you’ve got plenty of light, and I found it best to do the test on a steady table with enough room. You also need to wash and dry your hands before you start. I also grabbed some baby wipes but you could just have some tissues or anti-bac wipes ready. They’re handy in case you’re a bleeder, and the small plaster isn’t doing the trick by itself.
Preparing The INSTI HIV Self Test For Use
Take everything out of the hinge-lid box. You’ll see that there’s a few spaces in the card insert.
Open the membrane unit pouch, and set that into the space for it (the larger rectangle in the box insert, with INSTI written underneath. The letter C (for control) goes at the top.
Next, get bottle 1, which is the red-capped one. Take off the cap, setting that down somewhere, and put the unlidded bottle in the circle insert in the box. Be careful, as it has liquid in it.
Now you’re ready to move on to the next stage.
I found this the trickiest part of the whole test, which might not be very surprising. I’m not the greatest fan of stabbing myself at the best of times, but the way the INSTI HIV Self Test does it is rather gentle and kind.
It helped to pump my fist and get some warmth and blood flow into my hand and fingers first, so I could be sure the blood would run as easy as possible.
Then, you need to get the lancet from the small clear pouch. Remove the twist off lid. You won’t see a needle or blade or anything, it’s down inside. Press the end firmly against your fingertip – be brave – and it will click when you’ve pressed hard enough. It’s the lancet piercing your skin. It’s only a small cut.
Encourage the blood flow to the opening in your finger, getting the pipette tip to gather up the blood. I had my hand angled downwards and the pipette teat angling upwards to catch/scoop the blood into the tube, up to the black line.
This did take some doing, and in the video (below in this post) you’ll see that at first I struggled to get the blood flowing – my finger just wasn’t playing along! After a few moments it did start flowing and I was able to get enough blood into the tube, up to the black line, and successfully carried on with the test. My tips are to remain calm and angle finger downwards and capture the blood in the pipette.
Squeeze the blood from the pipette into the bottle you placed into the insert (bottle 1). Recap the bottle.
Put your plaster on/clean up a bit. Don’t take too long, though.
Activating The Test
You need to then do a few things in a row in order to do the test and read your result.
Shake your lidded bottle 1 four times. Uncap and pour all the liquid into the well of the membrane unit. Wait until the liquid disappears.
Then take bottle 2 (the blue capped one) and shake that four times as well. Uncap, and pour the liquid into the well, again waiting til all the liquid disappears.
Bottle 3 next, and you don’t shake this one. Very important. Simply uncap and pour into the well, until that all disappears too.
My result started to appear instantly.
Reading The Results
The result guide which forms part of the instruction leaflet is very clear and easy to understand. If you see one blue dot directly under the C on the membrane unit, you’ve tested negative for HIV.
If there is another dot underneath that one (two dots in total), you’ve tested positive. This must be confirmed by a doctor.
When there are no dots at all, or only one at the bottom and not at the top under the C, the test hasn’t worked.
After Taking The Test
Once you’ve completed the INSTI HIV Self Test you need to be sure to dispose of all the contents carefully and hygienically. Put everything you used into the sealable discreet bag. The instructions advise that you can put everything into the box and then the box into the bag and seal, ready to throw away. Nothing included with the testing kit is suitable for recycling.
INSTI HIV Self Test Video: Testing Myself At Home
Acclaim and support for the INSTI HIV Self Test
Respected and well-known medical expert Dr Christian Jessen has shown his support for the HIV Self Test, and it has also been tried and tested by NetDoctor.
Even the likes of Prince Harry has taken the test!
Buy Yours Today
The INSTI HIV Self Test is the perfect solution for those wanting to find out their HIV status with anonymity, discretion, in comfort and at a time and date suitable for them. There’s no excuse for uncertainty. Buy your INSTI HIV Self Test for just €29.95 from insti-hivselftest.com.