Based on what you’ve told us you might prefer to use the finger prick self-test option.
How it works
You perform a self test by collecting a small blood sample from your finger and testing it in the fluid provided. You’ll get the result in 15 minutes.
- The self test will be most accurate from three months after HIV transmission (so if HIV has been transmitted during the past three months, it may not be detected). You might want to consider using a postal test or testing at a sexual health clinic, GP or HIV organisation, which can all pick up HIV four weeks after transmission (much earlier than a self test), in case you were exposed to HIV.
- It’s important that any positive result on a self test is confirmed with a second blood test by a healthcare professional. This can be arranged by contacting your local sexual health clinic, your GP or by calling NHS 111.
- Important information for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) users: there is some evidence that HIV self tests may not work as well in people who are taking HIV medication – either for treating HIV, for PrEP or for PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
Until more is known about this, we advise people on PrEP not to rely solely on the result of an HIV self test.
If no more than three days have passed (72 hours) after you have had sex without condoms with someone you know is HIV positive and isn’t on treatment or hasn’t got an undetectable viral load, and if you are not currently using PrEP, consider talking with a doctor about taking PEP, an emergency treatment that can prevent HIV infection if taken quickly.
There is more information about postal test and HIV testing services if you would prefer to use one of those options.
How to get a test kit
Click here to order your free HIV test now.
You can also buy a self testing kit via the NHS shop.