Currently there are only two home HIV tests: the Home Access HIV-1 Test System and the OraQuick In-home HIV test. If you buy your home test online make sure the HIV test is FDA-approved.
The Home Access HIV-1 Test System is a home collection kit, which involves pricking your finger to collect a blood sample, sending the sample to a licensed laboratory, and then calling in for results as early as the next business day. This test is anonymous. If the test is positive, a follow-up test is performed right away, and the results include the follow-up test. The manufacturer provides confidential counseling and referral to treatment. The tests conducted on the blood sample collected at home find infection later after infection than most lab-based tests using blood from a vein, but earlier than tests conducted with oral fluid.
The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test provides rapid results in the home. The testing procedure involves swabbing your mouth for an oral fluid sample and using a kit to test it. Results are available in 20 minutes. If you test positive, you will need a follow-up test. The manufacturer provides confidential counseling and referral to follow-up testing sites. Because the level of antibody in oral fluid is lower than it is in blood, oral fluid tests find infection later after exposure than do blood tests. Up to 1 in 12 people may test false-negative with this test.
Masciotra S, Luo W, Youngpairoj AeS, Kennedy SM, Wells S, Ambrose K, Sprinkle P, Owen MS. Performance of the Alere DetermineTM HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo Rapid Test with specimens from HIV-1 serocoverters from the US and HIV-2 infected individuals from Ivory Coast. J Clin Virol. 2013 Dec; 58(suppl.1):e54-e58.
Luo W, Masciotra S, Delaney KP, Charurat M, Croxton T, Constantine N, Blattner W, Wesolowski L, Owen SM. Comparison of HIV oral fluid and plasma antibody results during early infection in a longitudinal Nigerian cohort. JClin Virol. 2013 Dec; 58 (Suppl 1): e113-e118.