HIV self-test info page

Since 2018, CE-certified HIV tests for self-testing may be sold by public pharmacies in Austria and are therefore available in some pharmacies.

On this page you will find a compact summary of the most important information on HIV self-testing. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the helpline of the AIDS-Hilfen Österreichs!

Häufig gestellte Fragen zum HIV-Selbsttest

  • When can I take an HIV self-test?

    The HIV self-test belongs to the rapid tests and is a pure antibody test with which an HIV infection can be reliably excluded at the earliest 12 weeks (3 months) after a risk.

  • How safe is the self-test?

    No HIV self-test is 100% reliable. False positive results (an HIV-negative sample that is falsely classified as positive) are possible. Incorrect storage or exceeding the expiry date can cause false test results. (eine HIV-negative Probe, die fälschlicherweise als positiv eingestuft wird) sind möglich. Eine falsche Lagerung oder ein Überschreiten des Verfalldatums können falsche Testergebnisse verursachen.

  • How does an HIV self-test work?

    The different HIV self-tests vary somewhat in their application. Each test kit has detailed step-by-step instructions in the instruction leaflet.

  • How does an HIV self-test work?

    The different HIV self-tests vary somewhat in their application. Each test kit has detailed step-by-step instructions in the instruction leaflet.

    Autotest VIH

    For the autotest VIH, first pour the buffer solution (located with the test tube) into the stand. Disinfect the finger with an alcohol swab and prick the fingertip with the lancet. The drop of blood is collected with the test tube. Put the test directly into the stand - it must click 3 times. Set the timer to 15 minutes and wait briefly until the mixture of blood & buffer solution rises and the test strip starts to turn pink. After the 15 minutes you can read the test result for 20 minutes.

  • How does an Exacto self-test work?

    The different HIV self-tests vary somewhat in their application. Each test kit has detailed step-by-step instructions in the instruction leaflet.

    Exacto

    For the autotest Exacto, first pour the buffer solution (located with the test tube) into the stand. Disinfect the finger with an alcohol swab and prick the fingertip with the lancet. The drop of blood is collected with the test tube. Put the test directly into the stand - it must click 3 times. Set the timer to 15 minutes and wait briefly until the mixture of blood & buffer solution rises and the test strip starts to turn pink. After the 15 minutes you can read the test result for 20 minutes.

  • How does an Insti self-test work?

    The different HIV self-tests vary somewhat in their application. Each test kit has detailed step-by-step instructions in the instruction leaflet.

    Insti

    For the insti, first open the red vial with the number 1. Then disinfect the finger with an alcohol swab and prick the fingertip with the lancet. Drop a large drop of blood into the 1st vial, close and shake well. Pour the liquid into the test field and wait until it has been absorbed. Then add the liquids from the 2nd and 3rd vials, but always wait until the liquid has been completely absorbed. After 5 minutes, you can read the result for 20 minutes.

  • Where can I buy an HIV self-test?

    HIV self-tests are diagnostic in vitro tests with CE marking and are therefore only available in pharmacies. A doctor's prescription is not necessary.

    An HIV self-test costs around € 30 and is not covered by the ÖGK.

    If the local pharmacy does not have an HIV self-test in stock, it can be ordered. It is therefore advisable to call the pharmacy in advance.

  • What to do in case of a reactive result?

    If two lines appear on the self-test - a control line and a test line - the result is reactive. The test line can be different in intensity.

    Since self-tests can also give false positive results, this is not sufficient to assess whether an HIV infection is present. The Austrian AIDS Support Services therefore recommend having an HIV antigen/antibody test done in any case.
    Only if this test is confirmed positive, one has to be prepared for an HIV infection

    With a reactive self-test result, one can contact the counselling service of Aids Hilfe in the respective federal state.

  • Can I trust a negative test result?

    If there has been no risk of HIV in the past 3 months and the self-test was performed correctly, the negative result is reliable and HIV infection is ruled out.

    Risks within the last 12 weeks are not reliably covered by the HIV self-test, so the self-test should be repeated after the 12-week period or the risk clarified by means of an HIV antigen/antibody test.

  • How can I be sure that I have used the test correctly?

    During the waiting time until the test result, a coloured line must appear - the "control line". If the control line does not appear, it means that the test was used incorrectly or did not work.

    If the test result is unclear, the test should be repeated. Either with another HIV self-test or an HIV antibody/antigen test in the regional Aids Hilfethe patient's doctor, a laboratory or the family doctor.

  • HIV Self-Test Helpline

    Our helpline staff can be reached from Mon, Wed, Thu 10am to 1pm and Fri 10am to 1pm
    under the Austrian toll-free number 0800 25 22 89.

    Write your question!

    You can also send us your questions about the HIV self-test by e-mail. We will give you an answer as soon as possible! 

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