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First HIV home testing kit goes on sale in the UK


13/05/2015

The first legally approved HIV home testing kit has gone on sale in the UK. The test manufactured by BioSure which allows people to test themselves for HIV from the comfort of their homes getting a result within 15 minutes is the first of its kind.

The government hopes that the introduction of these ‘do it yourself’ testing kits will encourage those who are reluctant to visit a sexual health clinic to test themselves for HIV. This type of HIV test, which uses a small amount of blood from a finger prick sample, is reported to be more reliable than other types of home testing kits which use saliva samples to detect HIV antibodies.

AHPN welcomes this new initiative as it has the potential to reach groups of people who wouldn’t visit a sexual health clinic for a test. It has been well documented that the African community bears a disproportionate burden of HIV. While constituting 1.8% of the UK population, black Africans account for 355 of new HIV diagnoses each year. People from African communities are also more likely to test and be diagnosed later than any other ethnic group. Overcoming at least one barrier to HIV testing among this group by introducing home testing will be a step in the right direction. AHPN also urges the government to further support initiatives which provide support and information to those who have been newly diagnosed with HIV and also to provide specialist mental health services for all those living with HIV. It has been reported that people living with HIV are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than the general population, therefore more attention needs to be placed on these people in ensuring mental as well as physical health is maintained.

You can purchase a test from www.hivselftest.com at a cost of £29.95.