What is the Difference Between Confidential and Anonymous HIV Testing?
ON the surface of it, anonymous and confidential testing of HIV may look the same. However, that is not so. There are numerous differences between these two methods of being tested for HIV. Here are definitions of these two methods and their variations that we at https://bellaireer.com/ have prepared.
It is a type of testing that is offered by some clinics is individual states in the US. With this test, it merely means that no one else except you can access the results of your test. The reason for this is that your name will not be recorded. Before going for a test, always confirm the kind of test that they offer.
In a confidential test for HIV, you and your provider will know the results; they may even be recorded somewhere. Confidential testing is offered in some places to make it easier to access results later. Besides that, confidential testing is excellent for tracking the number of new infections.
In fact, at some clinics, confidential testing is mandatory if they want to receive funding. It makes it easy for agencies involved in combating HIV infections for identifying new cases from those that go for multiple testing in different locations.
Even in cases where a test facility does not have anonymous testing, your results are still legally protected by the HIPAA rules. It means that an institution is legally obliged to protect your records so that only authorized people can gain access to them.
Below are some of the critical differences between these two types of testing:
Anonymous testing is only available in select states
Since anonymous testing is not offered across all the states in the US, it is one of the reasons why the FDA approved home-based testing kits. This lack of anonymous testing is found in 11 states in the US. Although in these 11 states the results will be accurate and confidential, the anonymous option is not offered. It has a lot of legal and personal consideration. Since it may discourage some from visiting the clinic, they opt for a home testing option.
Your name is not revealed in an anonymous test
When you opt to be tested anonymously, your name remains a secret. Instead, you may be issued a unique code or number, which will help you access your results. In confidential testing, all personal details that identify you as an individual are sent to local health officials. It is one of the significant differences between anonymous and confidential testing. In a confidential test, your name and details are sent to local public health officials. However, this is not always a bad thing.
The information they get from you can be used to offer better medical assistance and allow health officials to study the impact of HIV on the community. With a confidential test, your details are not released to an insurer or the employer. Besides that, the details are not released to the federal government. The rules vary state to state. It is thus essential that you check how your state will handle your details once you go for the test.
With an anonymous test, there is no negative impact on your social life
As already mentioned, with a confidential test, your results will not be released to the insurance company or employer. However, if you sign a release form to let your doctor know about your condition, such information will be part of your medical records forever.
At some later point, it could become available to your insurer or employer. However, if you opt for the anonymous test, there is no risk of any such information ever becoming a matter of public record. You will never be a name, only a number.
Anonymous tests, unlike confidential ones, can take place at home
Any FDA approved home testing kit is anonymous. That means you do not have to record such results with any healthcare provider ever. The results are sent to you via a code that you are issued. That means it is impossible for anyone to know your name. They will only know the results. There are just two FDA approved home testing kits. Both of these are 100% anonymous.
Anonymous testing offers a higher degree of privacy
If you are seriously worried about the risk of your HIV status becoming public knowledge, you should choose for an anonymous test. With a confidential test, you will still have to trust your name and other details with a human.
With anonymous home kits, the package is discreetly sent to you. It comes with a unique 11-digit code. When the package is shipped to the lab, there is no return address included, to keep things as private as possible.
Whether you choose the anonymous or confidential test, you need to be tested. With HIV, your chances of survival increase the earlier it is identified. There are already many people doing it. The CDC estimates that about 16-22 million Americans are tested each year.