In the UK you can test anonymously at any GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinic or sexual health clinic. You can test at your GP.
The ‘Health services near you’ section of the NHS website includes a sexual health menu to search for clinics by town or postcode.
Sexual health or GUM clinics often offer more information on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Community testing sites
Several HIV organisations provide HIV testing in community venues.
The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) also have testing centres around the UK.
The LBGT Foundation in Manchester also offers free rapid testing.
Private clinics sometimes offer HIV tests that are not recommended in testing guidelines.
There are also several ways to have an HIV test at home. This includes:
- Self tests which use a pinprick blood sample. You get the result yourself after about 15 minutes.
- Self sample tests. This is where you take your own sample and post it to a lab. These can use a mouth swab or a pinprick blood sample.
Free self tests are available as part of some research studies.
Free self sample tests are already available in many parts of the UK.
Home test are also available to buy online and in some pharmacies (for about £30).
Home testing may help people who have difficulty getting to a clinic. They are generally more popular with people who are at low risk and who expect the results to be negative.
Although everyone hopes their result will be negative, there can be advantages from getting a test result from a person who can talk about the results in a more supportive way.
1 June 2016