This summer, HIV campaigner and royal Prince Harry conducted a live test on Facebook. It was a very specific sort of test, not designed to test his understanding of the Kardashians or to find out which Game of Thrones character he would be – it was an HIV test – and not just any HIV test – it was INSTI HIV Self Test.
Uniquely, the test was the first developed to deliver a result in just 60 seconds. The reaction to the test was immediate with more than 4,750 self-tests sent out to people across the UK. Half of these people contacted the trust with their results – and 26 of them reported a positive test result.
Last week the UK saw the launch of a truly revolutionary HIV home testing kit. With one finger prick and a single drop of blood, the INSTI HIV Self Test provides instant results and is over 99% accurate. With other home tests, individuals must wait 15 to 20 minutes (after the test is conducted) for a result to be produced or several days or weeks in the case of laboratory or postal tests.
With the success of Prince Harry’s demonstration, it’s now European HIV testing week which kick started last Friday (November 18th). The aim of this week is to make more people aware of their HIV status and reduce late diagnosis by communicating the benefits of testing early. Test. Treat. Prevent – the theme for this year’s testing week.
In Europe, today, at least one in three of the 2.5 million people living with HIV are unaware that they are living with HIV. In the UK, this translates to over 18,000 people. Diagnosing late means there will be a delay in treatment leading to health and treatment complications in the future.
However, in the UK, key sexual health services are facing monstrous budget cuts leading to clinic closures, and dissolution of preventative health programmes. This causes further pressures on already overcrowded GP practices. Naturally, with these closures the options of testing and learning about prevention become limited.
Ironically, delayed diagnosis is more costly for the healthcare system and most importantly can lead to delayed access to treatment and potential transmission to others. Over the years, testing and treating have come leaps and bounds, and knowing your status and managing HIV has never become so easy. So there’s really no excuse not to know.
Self testing enables you to take control of your own test in the comfort of your own home. The INSTI test will give you an instant result enabling you to make an informed decision on your next steps.
A resource card directing the user for help and support is found in the kit. To purchase an INSTI HIV self test kit log on to www.INSTI-HIVSelfTest.com