We’ve gathered the five best at-home companies that offer HIV testing kits and evaluated the merits of each one. We looked at whether tests have FDA approval, the accuracy of results, whether the company provides professional counseling and support, and the convenience of each testing strategy. Read more about our methodology below.
LetsGetChecked sells one of the most comprehensive and accurate HIV testing kits around. The company, founded in 2014, offers a line of kits that screen for STIs and HIV, as well as some that test for diabetes and heart conditions. It has earned a reputation for tests that mimic the testing done in clinical settings, and all are completed using scientific methods, either through a finger-prick blood or urine sample. Results are available within 2-5 days, via text message or email.
The company partners with lab facilities that are CLIA-, INAB-, CPA-, or CAP-certified, which can give users confidence in the reliability of its kits. LetsGetChecked screens for HIV in two of its test kits, the Standard 5 and the Complete 10. Both also test for other sexually transmitted diseases. LetsGetChecked’s discreet packaging, affordable prices, and accuracy of the tests make this the best overall brand.
One of the things we liked most about LetsGetChecked is the availability of a consultation both before a user purchases the kit and after the fact if a result comes up positive. Live online chat is available through the company website for prepurchase advice, while a free phone consultation with a registered nurse is included for those who test positive.
Everlywell supplies the best at-home testing kit for people on a budget. The company has been providing testing kits since 2015, not only for HIV and other STDs but also for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, metabolic disorders, metabolism rates, and heavy metal testing. The affordable rates for its STD testing have made EverlyWell kits popular, as many people can’t come up with the triple-digit costs of other testing kits.
HIV tests from Everlywell, which use the finger-prick blood collection method, cost $24.99 for members and $49 for nonmembers. The company offers free shipping and accepts credit or debit cards, PayPal, and payments from HSA/FSA accounts, making the tests even more accessible. It’s important to note that some of the STD tests are bundled together and not available as single tests. All lab facilities are CLIA-certified, and the results are available within five days via email.
Tests kits from Everlywell are shipped in plain, discreet packaging, and return packaging and shipping are included free with each kit purchased. A free phone or video consultation with a board-certified physician is also provided for clients who test positive for one or more specific STDs.
Everlywell tests are unavailable to residents of New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, which is one of the reasons this company isn’t our number one choice. Residents of the other 47 states can expect professional service, fast results, and a range of options for all budgets. Test users are urged to speak with their primary care physician if they have a positive result.
OraQuick is our pick for rapid results, and in fact, it’s the only at-home HIV testing kit approved by the FDA as a rapid-results test. The results for OraQuick range from 92-99% accuracy. The test checks for HIV antibodies in the body, which may not appear in the body for up to three months after exposure. With a positive result, users are encouraged to seek further testing to confirm a diagnosis. The sample is collected via oral swab and can be performed in the privacy of your own home, with results available in 20 minutes.
Users of OraQuick have access to 24/7 customer care for answers to questions and advice from a counselor about what to do next if the result is positive. It’s important to note that the presence of antibodies is dependent on how soon your body reacts to the virus, and results may be a preliminary positive, negative, or invalid. The test also doesn’t determine the progression of the disease, and therefore those who have a positive or inconclusive result should schedule a follow-up visit with a medical professional. Additionally, credit cards are the only form of payment accepted by OraQuick.
Visit OraQuick: http://www.oraquick.com/Home
Private iDNA offers FDA-approved testing for HIV I & II, as well as other sexually transmitted infections. The tests are designed to be administered at home and created by the company’s Dynamic Infectious Disease Laboratory. The blood samples are sent to CLIA- and CAP-accredited labs in all 50 U.S. states. The company offers three shipment options with varying time frames: 3-5 business days by First Class mail, 1-3 business days by Priority Mail, and overnight via Priority Mail Express. All communication between the user and the company is HIPAA-protected and confidential. Users can create an account through the company website or app, track their test from administration through testing, and read their results online. Alternatively, results may be delivered via email.
Unlike other companies on our list, Private iDNA doesn’t offer physician support for those who test positive, although individuals who test positive do receive a free retest to confirm the results. After a second positive result, individuals are encouraged to seek consultation with a doctor.
Visit Private iDNA: https://idna.com/
MyLAB Box was founded in 2014 in Los Angeles and is an FDA-approved entity. Tests for STDs and STIs are available, including HIV, as well as tests for many other conditions, including COVID-19, heart disease, and diabetes. Testing can be done for HIV at home, using a finger prick to obtain a blood sample. The test is sent to a U.S.-based CLIA- and CAP-certified laboratory, and results are delivered via email within 2-5 days. MyLAB Box offers secure, private payment options, including credit or debit card and FSA or HSA benefits.
Consumers can purchase a single test kit, which only screens for HIV, or can choose from various multi-test kits that include HIV testing. MyLAB Box also offers a discounted couples kit, which has everything needed to screen two individuals for many common STDs, including HIV.
MyLAB Box has a comprehensive support system, including complimentary retesting for those with a positive HIV result and a video or phone call with a medical professional to discuss the implications of a positive result and the next steps to take. Telemedicine visits are also available with a HIPAA-certified provider.
When we put together our list of the best at-home HIV tests, we evaluated each company based on criteria important to users. We considered the services offered, lab certifications and safety, and the availability of professional support.
We looked for testing companies that offer safe, private alternatives for purchase, results and follow-up support. We identified if a company provides live support, counseling and advice about the next steps, should a result come back positive, and retesting services for individuals who may wish follow-up tests.
We evaluated whether the tests a provider offers are FDA-approved and if the labs a company uses are CLIA-, INAB-, CPA-, or CAP-certified to ensure the tests’ accuracy and effectiveness safe, secure handling of samples and results.
HIV is often manageable with proper support and care. When choosing in-home HIV test providers for this list, we considered whether a company has professional counseling available to help you understand your results and advise whether a retest is needed or how to best access additional testing or treatment.
At-home HIV testing allows a nonmedically trained individual to complete blood, urine, or mouth swab sample collection and either process oral swab or urine tests themselves or mail a blood sample to a certified lab for testing. The tests are processed, and results are delivered to the individual, typically by email. The test kits may be purchased online or in a pharmacy, and some companies also have subscription services for those who wish to test on a regular basis.
As long as the user follows the directions included with the testing kit, at-home HIV tests can provide results with over 90% accuracy, with some as high as 99%. For individuals who have a positive or inconclusive test result, many companies provide a free retest. For best accuracy, testing of HIV antibodies should be done at least three weeks after possible exposure. Rapid tests require an even lengthier wait time. Any positive results require a retest or a visit with a physician.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, undetectable equals untransmittable. This means an undetectable viral load poses virtually no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
At-home HIV testing’s primary benefit is privacy, as users can purchase the test and obtain results without filing an insurance claim or even using their real name. While most clinics advertise confidentiality, this is not the same as anonymous — as results must be reported to state authorities. Convenience is also a key factor, taking as little as 20 minutes for rapid testing results. Other benefits include professional support and follow-up for those who test positive and peace of mind for people who worry about exposure.
At-home tests can be considerably less expensive than those performed in a lab or clinic. Pricing starts at $49 and can range up to $150 or more, depending on the company and the specific testing method. Costs also vary based on whether a provider offers HIV tests singly or as part of a bundle with other STD or STI tests. Many of the companies offer discounts to frequent testers (members). Test kit costs often include shipping and return packaging, and some companies also include return shipping.
The CDC offers a no-cost at-home HIV screening kit through the TakeMeHome program.