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HIV: FAQs About At-Home HIV Testing

The OraQuick® In-Home HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) test lets you test yourself for HIV at home. It’s the only “in-home” HIV self-test approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Here are some key points to keep in mind about OraQuick:

  • The test is performed by doing a mouth swab. Don’t eat, drink (even water), smoke, chew gum, or use oral care products (e.g., toothpaste) for 30 minutes before taking the test.
  • If you test positive, you need a follow-up test from a health care provider or at an HIV testing site.
  • If you test negative, you shouldn’t trust the result if you’ve been exposed to HIV within the past three months. Your body may not have had time to respond to the virus.

Find an HIV counseling, testing, or referral site (PDF)

FAQs (frequently asked questions) about OraQuick

OraQuick tests your oral fluid to determine if you have HIV.

It tests whether your body has produced antibodies to fight HIV.

If you get a positive result on an OraQuick test, you need to have it confirmed. You must be retested by a health care provider or at an HIV testing clinic to confirm the result.

  • Unprotected sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) with multiple sex partners
  • Unprotected sex with someone who is HIV-positive or whose HIV status you don’t know
  • Unprotected sex between a man and another man
  • Unprotected sex in exchange for money
  • Using illegal injected drugs or steroids
  • Sharing needles or syringes
  • Having been diagnosed or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis, or a sexually transmitted infection, like syphilis

The test detects HIV infection three months after you’ve been exposed. That’s because it can take up to three months for your body to produce enough antibodies to show up in your body.

If you test negative and it’s been less than three months since you’ve been exposed, repeat the test after a full three months have passed.

Yes. Even if you call the OraQuick Support Center at 866-436-6527, you don’t need to give your personal information.

A negative result means the test hasn’t detected antibodies in your body to fight HIV. If it’s been at least three months since you were exposed, you probably don’t have the virus. There is a chance for a false negative, although the odds are one in 12. To reduce this risk, read all the test instructions and follow them closely.

If you test negative and it’s been less than three months since you were exposed, repeat the test after a full three months have passed.

A positive result means the test has detected antibodies in your body to fight HIV. It means you may have the virus. You must be retested by a health care provider or at an HIV testing clinic to confirm the result.

If you don’t know where to get tested, you can call the OraQuick Support Center at 866-436-6527 or use our list of HIV counseling, testing, and referral sites.

Last revised July 20, 2022