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.

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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Accessing our service during the COVID pandemic

How to access our service:

We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Please contact our services to access this triage system. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend the clinic. Clear advice for people with symptoms of coronavirus is available at nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Advice from our service:

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

We are currently prioritising these groups for coil and implant (LARC) fits:

  • Those with vulnerabilities including but not limited to those who are: <18, attending abortion and maternity services, homeless, sex workers, victims of sexual assault, people with language barriers, drug and alcohol problems, learning disability, serious mental illness
  • Those aged <30 years

More details on LARC fittings at our service are found here

There is also specific advice on coronavirus available for People Living with HIV here, and for pregnant women here

Self-requested Sexual Health screening by post is available for for under 25s only - more info here

For others with testing requirements please contact the service on 0300 303 3989.

Information is now also available to advise on sexual contact during a time of social distancing here.

Alternative provision:

Please be aware that we may have to cancel, rearrange or shut clinical services in response to changing clinical and staffing pressures created by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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

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