How to use your HIV testing kit
This video explains how to take a sample correctly. If you’re doing this for the first time, please watch this all the way through before attempting to take your sample.
How do I order my HIV testing kit?
You can order your HIV testing kit online.
Simply answer a few questions to confirm your eligibility. It will arrive in a plain envelope. You may find that you should also test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
How quickly do you need to return the samples?
Once you’ve taken your samples, you should return them straight away in the freepost envelope provided. All of our kits have a 4 month expiry date so please make sure you use and return them as soon as you can.
Please note: STIs do not show up immediately in test results so you might be given the all-clear by mistake if you take the sample too soon. If you’re testing for HIV and Syphilis, it can take up to 12 weeks for these to show up in tests so you might want to wait or re-test once 12 weeks has passed.
When and how will you get your results?
We send results by text message 4 working days after we receive the samples, often sooner. If you have not heard back from us after 5 working days, please call your local service.
You will receive one of two messages:
“Your test results are all negative. This means that we did not find any infections. Visit http://tinyurl.com/jspy5kp to find out how to reduce your risk”
“The results of your tests are available. Please call xxx for more information. Clinic walk-in times are also available on http://tinyurl.com/zswu7ny”
If you receive the second message, this does not necessarily mean you have an STI. Sometimes we need to repeat the tests or ask a couple of questions before we can confirm the results. However, it is important that you call us as soon as you can.
‘Reactive results’: Occasionally low level ‘reactive results’ occur, which may be classed as a non-specific positive. If your test result is reactive you will be invited to attend one of our clinics for a confirmatory blood test which will then reveal a negative result or confirm a positive.
Can you still have sex while waiting for results?
If you think you have an STI, it’s best to stop having sex until you’ve received your results. If you do have sex before getting your results, be sure to follow safe sex practices including using a condom.
What happens if my test is positive?
First of all, please don’t worry. Our services are here to support you and one of our experienced clinicians will discuss your treatment options during your appointment.
During the appointment, you will be asked how you would like to tell your sexual partners that they are at risk. This is essential to prevent any further spread of STIs and to make sure they get treatment if needed. This is always done very sensitively and we can do this for you so you don’t have to disclose your identity. You can read more about partner notification on this website and how we support you through this.