New HIV Home Sampling Kits now available.....
You can now order a FREE HIV sampling kit at home - a simple finger prick blood test to take in the privacy of your own home.
How does it work?
You take a sample of blood from a finger prick, then return the self-taken sample to a laboratory for testing. You will need to wait up to 3-5 days for the results. You will then be referred to your chosen sexual health clinic for a follow up.
What is the difference between home sampling and home testing?
The home sampling kit is sent away to be tested, there are no immediate results like with a home testing kit.
Who is this aimed at?
HIV testing is important in helping reducing the spread of HIV and for those living with HIV, who maybe undiagnosed, to access timely treatment.
Men who have sex with men
Men who have sex with men are advised to have an HIV and STI screen at least annually, and every three months if having unprotected sex with new or casual partners.
Black African men and women
Black African men and women are advised to have an HIV test and a regular HIV and STI screen if having unprotected sex with new or casual partners.
How to get an HIV test
Go to an open-access sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic like the sexual health hub at Treliske or one of the community sexual health clinics. [link to SHAC clinic pages]
Ask your GP for an HIV test – nowadays there is no need for a lengthy discussion about the test, it just involves having blood taken.
Ask online for a self-sampling kit at http://www.freetesting.hiv/
How is HIV transmitted?
The most common way for HIV to passed on is through unprotected sexual intercourse. You can find out more about HIV transmission here…
Reducing the risk of HIV
o Always use a condom correctly and consistently, and until all partners have had a sexual health screen.
o Remember to take condoms with you when travelling abroad and only use condoms that carry the kite mark.
o Only use water based lubricant.
o If you are under 25 in Cornwall, you can access the c-card scheme.
o Reduce the number of sexual partners and avoid overlapping sexual relationships.
o Don’t assume someone will tell you (or even know their HIV status) when planning whether to use condoms.
o Remember to test for and treat other STI’s. Having an STI like Chlamydia can increase the risk of HIV infection as it makes it easier for HIV to get in to the blood stream.