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Hospital Pioneers Home HIV Tests

The Importance of HIV Diagnosis

Getting tested for HIV can be very scary; however, if you believe that you might have been exposed to the virus, it is of utter importance that you get tested immediately. If you have been tested positive, you can start treatment immediately, giving you a better chance at living a long and normal life. Early detection also helps in preventing the virus from spreading further. It is recommended to get tested at least once a year if you are partaking in activities which can lead to an HIV infection. If you believe that the chances of you becoming infected are high due to a high risk activity that you partook in, you should get tested three months after the event to verify if you have been infected. 

High risks activities include:

Having sex with more than one partners

Sharing needles or syringes

Having sex with someone who is HIV positive

Coming into contact with the blood of an infected person

How to get tested?

Testing for HIV has become faster and more convenient due to the many different testing options that are available today. In the first place, you can get tested at a hospital or at a health clinic. However, if you do not feel comfortable going to a hospital or a health clinic to get tested, you can purchase a home sampling HIV test kit from an online clinic such as The GUM Clinic. How exactly does a home sampling test kit works?


Step One:

Create an account online and order the test.


Step Two:

The order is shipped in a discreet package. 

Step Three:

Follow the instructions to take the sample. This will most likely be a blood sample taken by pricking your finger. Send the sample back to the clinic.

Step Four:

Once your sample has been received, it will be tested and the results will be posted to your account. You will then need to log-in to your account to see your results. 

Home sampling tests are very effective and certainly have their advantages. They stimulate more people to get tested because they provide a safe, comfortable and convenient environment for them to get tested. However, people are still dependent on the clinic. They need to wait until their sample has been tested. Although this process takes no longer than a day or two, it is believed that more people would be inclined to get tested if they can conduct the test themselves and be presented with the results immediately. 

Free Do-it-Yourself HIV Tests

The Derriford Hospital in Devon will become the first hospital in the United Kingdom to offer free do-it-yourself Home HIV Tests. Their main home is to make it easier and more convenient for people to get tested for HIV. This will result in early detection which will prevent further transmission of the disease.

So how exactly does the do-it-yourself HIV tests work? Well, if you have every taken a home pregnancy test or if you have ever seen someone take a home pregnancy test, you will have no issues understanding how the do-it-yourself tests work. These tests will also be available online. After requesting your test, it will be sent to you. Having received it, you will take your sample which is an oral sample taken by swabbing your gum. Using this sample, you will receive the results after twenty minutes. It is the hope of the Derriford Hospital that this test will meet the needs of people who did not want to partake in the traditional testing process. The trial will be conducted for at least one year and if it is successful, it may be extended into a nationwide service offering free do-it-yourself tests to the people of the UK. If you have been tested positive using the do-it-yourself test, you will then need to go to a hospital or clinic to get a confirmatory test. 

If you would like to have more information on the different types of HIV tests that are available in the UK, you should refer to the fact sheet that has been put together by the NAT and if you would like to have further information on HIV, you should visit the NHS website. It is a great source.

Be Prepared!!

It is important that you are well-prepared if you plan on getting tested for HIV. Whether you are taking the do-it-yourself test or the home sampling test or you are going to a hospital or clinic to get teste, it is very important that you are prepared to handle the outcome if it is positive. If possible, take a loved one with you who can offer support if the results are positive.



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