The other night I was watching a riveting episode of Beyond Scared Straight (note: they’re all riveting) and saw a commercial that shocked me. And I was watching A&E so I’m not easily shocked.
At home HIV testing kits.
OraQuick is the first home HIV testing kit that only requires a swab of saliva and a few minutes of your time to let you know if you have tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Now, I’ve seen pregnancy tests, yeast infection tests, and even test your kids for drug tests available at Walgreens and CVS, but now knowing that you can just waltz into your local pharmacy, or certainly Wal-Mart and test yourself for HIV is…shocking. Mostly because the people that would think to buy an at home HIV test probably can’t work an at home HIV test.
I’ve taken a home pregnancy test before and it is simply nerve racking no matter what you want the outcome to be. The act of taking the test itself is a little difficult. Sure it’s not as easy as swabbing your mouth with a Q-Tip but I’m sure people could find a way to screw it up. The few minutes that it takes for an EPT to let you know if you have enough HCG in your urine to actually be pregnant, seem to last for hours. You get a neurotic clock watching syndrome and probably just stare at the test for any early indication. And then the results. Pregnant or not pregnant you really have a lot of life choices to reconsider. Can you imagine what the waiting is like while you’re waiting for a $40 test to let you know if you have HIV or not?!
Mind you, the good people at OraSure (who sell OraQuick) have provided a 1-800 number to call in case you might want to speak with someone during this difficult time. No, not a medical doctor or licensed therapist, but a representative that has completed a training course.
Of course OraSure encourages you to send the test into a lab for qualified testing and results. Because obviously you have clearly though this decision out and had nothing else to use $40 on, like ooooh a co-pay to visit a doctor, or a trip to a free clinic. I get that OraSure thinks more people would be tested if they thought they weren’t being judged by going to a clinic, but I also think they are going to get sued by someone’s family after they go ballistic on a false positive test.