Testing for HIV
Traditionally HIV tests have been conducted at a GUM clinic, However, it is now possible for you to order a kit which could be Fastest at Home or FreeTesting.hiv. Check which site can send you a test, as it will depend on where in the UK you live. FreeTesting.HIV offers tests in areas of England. Fastest at Home offers a test which can be done at home and the result given in just 15 minutes, no blood sample needs to be returned.
Online HIV tests available
Company Name Free testing Paid testing Accuracy Window Period Availability
BioSure Free from Terrence Higgins Trust if on benefit HIV Self Test from £29.95.
£15 if you are not on benefits
> 99.7% 3 months Across the UK
Preventx/MESMAC Free testing test.me from £19.99 100% after 8 weeks 8 weeks Insti HIV Self Test Kit Not available hivhometest.com from £19.95 Over 99% 3 months Freetesting.HIV Free testing Not available Not known at this time At least 4 weeks after exposure England only. Testing can also include Syphilis
In the BioSure (Terrence Higgins Trust) kit you need a small droplet of blood, and can read your result at home, after 15 minutes.
How much blood is needed and how long to wait for your result?
How to perform the test can be found here (with subtitles for the hard of hearing).
In the case of the PreventX/MESMAC test, more blood is needed into a little test tube, which needs to be posted for testing and you will receive your result shortly. You will need to keep your tracking code and access key and visit test.hiv to get your results. You will get an email and text message when your results are ready.
How to perform this test can be found here (with subtitles for hard of hearing).
The postman (or woman)!
Don’t forget both of them will send you a test kit in the post. The Fastest at Home will give you your results in 15 minutes but you will have to post back a sample of blood back to test.HIV
The Fastest at Home is a little smaller but thicker than the size of a DVD. Test.HIV is smaller than a packet of cigarettes. Both will easily be delivered to your letter-box by your postie.
If you normally leave your phone anywhere your parents or friends will see, they might work out that your about to have a HIV test.
You will get your HIV result in 15 minutes with the Fastest at Home kit. The THT would like to know your test result. If you are able to, consider a donation to the THT. It costs them £10 for every test that they send.
If you could only use the test.hiv kit, you will need to fill a little test tube with your blood and post it back to them for testing. You will get your results in a few days. They will want to know which date you collected your blood sample and you will need to keep the top part of their leaflet, so that you know your reference number and password to gain access to your result.
Anyone with the reference number and password will get your result, so if you don’t want nosey parent’s or friends to see it – keep it well hidden until you know your result is ready and you can log in an get your results!
I have had a positive result!
All testing kits recommend that any home testing kit giving a positive result should be re-tested in a GUM Clinic. You could also visit your GP for the test, especially if your feeling low and would prefer to talk to someone you already know. Your GP might want you to pop in every week or so, just to check on how you are and how you are feeling.
If you can go to a GUM Clinic for the HIV test, all the better, your GP will have to record the test on your medical records – but GUM Clinic records remain in the clinic and won’t contact your GP without your permission.
If you have discovered that are you HIV+ click here or call (0808) 802 1221. They are open Monday to Friday between 10am and 8pm.
If you would rather not call a HIV organisation, but are feeling low, you could always call the Samaritans free on 116 123. You don’t have to be suicidal, you can just call for a friendly chat. If your calling from home, why not make a cup of tea or coffee and then pick up the phone when your ready for a chat.
There is also a Manchester based charity, George House Trust and you can call them on 0161 274 44 99.
Don’t forget that the older TV programmes dealt with AIDS, HIV does have a treatment programme – if your home kit showed positive and a GUM Clinic confirmed the same, ask them treatment for HIV. Lots of people continue with their treatment and become undetectable, that it the virus is in very low levels and you aren’t infectious and you can carry on with your life and lead a healthy life. You might not know it, but one of your friends could be HIV+
Us doing the tests!
We will be doing the home tests, in English, Welsh and Sign Language very shortly and we’ll let you know exactly how painful those lancets are.