Testing is important because the early you know your status, the early you get into treatment, the longer you are likely to live. Also, early anti-viral treatment lowers the chances by 96% that a person will pass HIV to their partners. Approximately 38% of newly diagnosed cases of HIV are people infected by persons that didn't know that they were infected. With 50,000 new cases of HIV in the United States a year, testing is critical. Treatment can becomes a form of prevention, but a person has to know their status to get to this point. Also, most people who know their HIV status try to protect their partners from infections
I'm not sure that testing yourself alone is the best place to learn your status. If your test comes back negative their will be a hugh relief. But what happens when you test positive? Will you have enough courage to go to the doctors to begin the treatment process?
The guilt and shame that comes with an HIV diagnosis is imsurmoutable. A person has to be strong to get a positive HIV test result at home. For Real! I learned my status from the Red Cross after routinely donating blood. It was in the early days, so the meeting only lasted 5 minutes. There wasn't much to tell me back then a like today. The only hope was that I would never make a transition to AIDS. If I didn't know God, I mean if I hadn't already lived a life time by the time I was 23 and diagnosed with HIV, I would have walked straight into the Potomac River. But I did know God, and I have always believed that God's plan was bigger than my plan, so I kept it moving.
Also, the home test is only 92 percent accurate for people who are actually positive, while 99.98 for those who do not have HIV. This means that 12 would get a false negative and 1 and 5,000 uninfected would get a false positive. Both of these come with a host self-explanatory problems.
If in fact you do decide to use the home HIV test, my recommendation is that no matter what your test results are, you should be re-tested with a blood draw by a health professional.
If you do test positive for sure, you must seek medical attention immediately, knowing that you are positive and doing nothing at all is just like not knowing. Expect you do know. Slowing disease progression should be your priority. Yes, it's true that HIV/AIDS is no longer the death sentence that it once was, but that is only true if you seek treatment as early as possible.
Technology has come a long way in the thirty-two years since the first cases of HIV in the United States. If we are going to take advantage of these advancements ,we should do it in the best way possible for our best benefit, otherwise it's futile.