How to access HIV home-testing

How to access HIV home-testing

Home-testing for HIV is where you order a self-test kit and conduct the test at home with a small sample of your blood. The tests are easy to do and are very accurate although this can depend on the time between exposure to HIV and when you conduct the test.

Test.hiv is the nationally commissioned provider of HIV home-testing. With this system of self-testing you send a small blood sample into a lab and await the results. They offer HIV test kits for a small charge.

  • Register your details on the website test.hiv.
  • You will be sent a home testing pack in the post. The packs are small and discreet with no identifying logos or markings.
  • Inside the pack is equipment for taking a small blood sample by pricking your finger.
  • Take the sample, fill in the form and return the box to the provider (it’s freepost).
  • Results are usually sent within 2 – 3 days of the lab receiving your sample (occasionally it can take up to 7 days).
  • The results will be sent to you by text message, email or postal letter depending on your preference.

Our local South West sexual health and HIV charity, The Eddystone Trust offers access to home HIV testing and it is as easy as 1, 2, 3. They can even offer you a video or telephone call to support you through the testing process. Click here to find out more.

The Terence Higgins Trust also provides access to confidential HIV self-tests via Bio-sure for a small fee. These self-test kits are similar to a home pregnancy test. You do the test yourself and see the result in a few minutes.  Find out more.

You can also be tested at one of our Devon Sexual Health clinics or at your local GP surgery free of charge.

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In response to the emergence of COVID-19 we have implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

We are currently experiencing high demand for our Sexual Health Services across Devon and Torbay with unprecedented demand in Exeter. Please note always review urgent cases the same day. If your need is urgent and you are struggling to reach us keep trying as our phone system will explain how to access same-day care with us.

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception here.

Self-requested STI testing by post is available for those aged under 25- more info

We are now running an under 18’s sit and wait clinic at Exeter, Torquay, and Barnstaple for more information click here

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - from a local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info