an insti home HIV test with polaroid photos coming out of the bottom showing positive and negative results

Instant HIV Testing at Home!

Last updated: January 2023

Instant testing for HIV at home is almost here! INSTI HIV Self Test! Hallelujah INSTI HIV Self Tests! Amen! (queue "It’s raining men!")

bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease tests, is pleased to announce that its INSTI® HIV Self Test has been prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO).1

What is the INSTI HIV test?

INSTI is the world’s fastest home test providing results in 1-minute. INSTI is trusted by health care professionals across the globe with over 15 million rapid tests used in more than 60 countries.1 When INSTI hit the market, it was a game-changer for HIV testing and HIV testing clients. It meant shorter testing sessions and more accurate results.

Comparisons to OraQuick

One of INSTI’s main predecessors, OraQuick®, was the first FDA-approved oral swab self-test for HIV-1 and HIV-2 since 2014.2 OraQuick is an oral swab HIV test that does not require blood. Oraquik takes 20 minutes to result, which felt like an eternity for the HIV tester and their HIV testing client.

INSTI shortened HIV test result times from 20 minutes to 60 seconds. This was a major advancement but also presented some challenges. HIV testers and clinicians had to become more skilled at giving rapid HIV reactive, preliminary HIV positive results in 60 seconds.

The impact of INSTI self-tests

Imagine sexual partners getting instant HIV results before having sex! As a reproductive healthcare worker, I’ve wished for this day when I started in the healthcare sector in the early 2000s! How many new HIV infections could be detected before potential exposures? It allows sexual partners to make real-time informed sexual health decisions during sexual intercourse and other risk behaviors!

U = U, PrEP, and now instant HIV self-testing are ideal sexual health strategies that our communities have waited for since the 80s!

Accuracy of test results

Data supporting the INSTI HIV Self Test prequalification demonstrates that the test offers up to 100 percent sensitivity and 100 percent specificity.1 Rigorous field studies showed more than 95 percent of participants found the INSTI HIV Self Test easy to use, they would use it again and recommend it to partners and family members.1

Where is the INSTI HIV self-test available?

The INSTI HIV Self Test is already available in retail locations and online in France, UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, and Kenya.1

Pilot programs are taking place globally. Approval of the INSTI home test further supports early detection of HIV infection and facilitates more effective interventions through 1-minute results and IgM detection capabilities.1

Normalize HIV testing

Soon sexual partners, worldwide, will know their HIV status at home instantly!

I would advocate for people to make home instant HIV testing a new norm. Test yourself regularly and test your partners, one by one.

Consider the alternative, which is our current environment. People are having sex or engaging in risky behaviors, blinded. Most people don’t ask, and don't tell their HIV status!

Continue to take charge of your sexual health!

It is also your responsibility to discuss HIV status with your sexual partners. Ask about their HIV status! We ask everything else! What’s your name, address, and all sorts of things we don’t like to mention in public. Right?

Take charge of your sexual health, learn more about HIV self-testing and discuss HIV/STI status with your partners. These are some of the keys to optimal sexual health.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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