The Food and Drug Administration has told prospective developers of home AIDS test kits they must limit market research to hospitals, clinics and other traditional health care settings.

That and other restrictions contained in a March 30 policy statement effectively bar home test kits by heading off accumulation of the very kind of data that would be needed to convince the FDA to approve them.

Despite the clear signal that the FDA is not disposed to look kindly on such mass distribution of an AIDS test, the policy letter said the agency will seek public comment that could lead it to revise the guidelines.