HIV testing has become easier, more accessible, and less invasive in recent years. The array of HIV test technologies available has expanded, possibly enhancing a person's willingness to be tested. HIV tests can use specimens collected by less invasive methods (e.g., oral fluid, urine, and finger-stick blood), in addition to serum specimens collected by venipuncture.
Rapid HIV testing allows clients to receive results the same day, which is useful in urgent medical circumstances and in settings where clients tend not to return for HIV test results (e.g., some STD clinics).
HIV testing can also be conducted using commercially available home sample collection devices. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved home-use HIV test kits, which would allow consumers to interpret their own HIV test results in a few minutes. The Federal Trade Commission has warned that these current home-use HIV test kits, many of which are available on the Internet, supply inaccurate results.
For nearly five years now, many health care providers have adopted a policy of universal testing of pregnant women with patient notification (opt-out screening) and the elimination of requirements for extensive pretest counseling and for explicit written consent for HIV testing. Adopting these policies has led to increased prenatal screening and a dramatic 95% decline in perinatally acquired AIDS cases.