Anonymous
Hello, I wrote back in October after testing negative for HIV, and my boyfriend (he is my only partner, ever) was waiting to be tested. He took the oraquick oral swab test at our GP's as I did, and tested negative. He took this 9 months or so after he had last had sex with someone besides me. We had been together for 5 months at that time, and now we've been together over a year, and have been each other's only partners since then. Can we trust these test results? We both tested negative for all other STDs as well but I am fairly paranoid that somehow the test was inaccurate. He took the test first thing in the morning and said he didn't eat or drink 30 minutes before it, as instructed, but I still am worried. I spoke to our doctor and she said there is nothing to worry about and no reason to retest, but I would just like to put my mind at ease.

In short, my question is whether our results were 100% accurate. Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hi there and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. My name is Colin and I'm happy to answer your questions today.

I understand you are feeling anxious about being able to trust the results of an Oraquick HIV test. I hope we can help put your mind at ease.

Given your history and the timeline, it does seem likely that the Oraquick results may be correct. That said, here at AIDS Vancouver, we tend to recommend against using at-home HIV tests for a couple of reasons: If the tests are done exactly as instructed, they are quite accurate. However, because they are undertaken outside of a clinical setting, they are far more prone to mistakes and therefore inaccurate results when the steps aren't followed exactly. But the bigger reason we don't recommend at-home tests is simply because an HIV test can be a big deal with important consequences and when the test is done by a medical professional the results can be trusted and any other kind of compassionate care can be offered in the moment. It's not nice to have to sit through an HIV test by yourself.

With all that said, from what you've described, I would recommend you and your boyfriend go to a doctor and have a professional HIV test done. While the results you've gotten so far are likely good indicators of your status, if another more conclusive test will give you peace of mind, I'd say it can't hurt.

I hope I've managed to answer your questions today. Feel free to post again if you'd like any more information or clarification.

All the best

Colin

AIDS Vancouver Helpline
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