Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C
This combined test for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C comprises of an easy to use finger prick test. You will use a fine needle to draw a small amount of blood from your finger.
Once you have taken your sample, all you need to do is post it to the laboratory - all postage is included. You will get your test results within three days of the sample reaching the lab. We will send you a message or contact you via phone when your results become available.
How does the test work?
Syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis B and C are blood-borne infections. In order to check whether you have any of these infections, you need to take a blood test. Our home test kit is a finger prick test, which allows you to take a very small blood sample at home.
Taking the sample is quick and easy-with instructions on the leaflet which comes with your test kit. Once you have taken your tiny blood sample you need to post it to the laboratory, which will then analyse your sample. The test kit comes with a self-addressed envelope and the postage is paid, so all you need to do is post it. You will receive your test results within three days of your sample reaching the laboratory.
Our service is discreet and completely confidential. Our test kits are sent out in discreet packaging. We will contact you via text or phone to let you know that your results are available.
When should I get the test?
For some infections, it takes several days or weeks before they can be detected in a sexual health screen. This is called the ‘window period’.
If you think there is a high risk that you have been exposed to any of these infections (e.g. through sexual contact, blood, or sharing needles with someone who may be infected), it is essential that you see a nurse or doctor immediately. Please contact your GP, Sexual Health Clinic, or A&E department.
Please note: it can take up to 12 weeks for these infections to be detected in a sexual health screen. If you do the test before 12 weeks have passed since the incident, you should confirm any negative results at a later date by repeating the test.
HIV - The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is transmitted during sex or when sharing needles with an infected person. It is important that you get tested if you believe that you may have caught HIV. Early treatment allows patients to lead an almost normal life with a normal life expectancy. If the infection is not treated early on, however, the virus spreads and damages your immune system. You need to get tested at least six weeks after you may have been exposed to the virus. This is important, as the test may not be accurate if taken earlier.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. You can catch it during vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected partner. It is typical for syphilis to cause painless sores during the early stages of infection. If it is left untreated, it can spread to various organs and cause severe complications. Early treatment is essential to prevent syphilis from causing serious damage to your inner organs and brain.
Hepatitis B is a virus which can be passed on when sharing needles or having sex with an infected person. In countries where medical equipment is not sterilised properly, hepatitis B is also passed on during medical treatment. Hepatitis B can be passed on when the blood of a hepatitis B patient enters your bloodstream (for example via a wound or scratch), which is why vaccination is recommended for medical professionals and care workers. Patients who have hepatitis B are often unaware of the infection. In many cases, it does not cause any symptoms. If the infection persists for more than six months it is considered chronic. Chronic hepatitis B can cause complications such as liver damage.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne viral infection which can be transmitted during sex. In most cases, however, hepatitis C is transmitted when sharing needles, which is why it is very common amongst drug users. Often, the virus does not cause any symptoms until the liver has been severely damaged. Men who have sex with men are believed to have a higher risk of contracting hepatitis C. However, the highest risk group in the UK are drug users who have shared needles at any point in the past. You should get tested if this applies to you, even if you have only injected drugs once.
How does it work?
How do I get treatment?
Our top tips on how to do your STI test
For blood tests:
- Blood flows easier when your hands are warm, so perhaps take the test after a hot shower or bath or hold your hand under warm water for a few minutes.
- Stay standing and keep your arm straight with your hand below your waist
- Aim for the middle of the tip of your finger, not too close to your fingernail
- Push lancet down hard against your finger
- Wipe the first dot of blood away with a clean tissue to stop the blood congealing
- If your finger dries up, wait a while, warm up your hand, use another finger and make sure you press the lancet down hard against your finger.
Tips from people who have completed test kits.
- Relax and be patient and if you’re nervous, ask someone to help you.
- Watch the instruction video and read the instruction leaflet.
- Tying your long hair back can make things easier.
- Remove scarves and jewellery so they can’t get in the way.
- Lay the test kit items and your two tissues on a clean, flat surface.