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Information about STIs

This kit contains sampling components for Women. It is only available for UK residents aged 18 years old and over.

STI self-sampling kits are available free of charge for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth & Southampton residents here. However, the option to purchase a kit is available if you would like to.

 

Required samples:

  • A vaginal swab (for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea)
  • A blood sample (finger prick) (for Syphilis and HIV)

 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital, oral or anal contact.

Anyone who has sex can get an STI, regardless of age, gender or sexuality and you don’t need to have lots of sexual partners.

 

When do STIs show in tests?

The 'window period' is the length of time it can take between catching an infection and when it will show in an STI test. The window period for the most common STI tests are:

·         Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea - Up to 2 weeks

·         HIV - 45 days

·         Syphilis - 12 weeks

Hepatitis B - up to 12 weeks

Hepatitis C - up to 12 weeks

When you order your test, its best to make sure that you take your samples at the right time, so that you will be able to get accurate results.

 

Reducing your risk of catching an STI or HIV

The best way to protect yourself if you're going to have oral or anal sex is use a condom every single time. Although they are not 100% guaranteed, when used properly condoms are extremely effective. Top tips for using condoms

Condoms come in different sizes and varieties, therefore if you haven’t quite found the right fit or feel, try using alternative sizes, brands and types to see what works best for you. If you are sensitive to latex, try using latex free condoms.

You can also reduce your risk by:

  • Using lubrication. We recommend water based lube, however this can become dry or sticky which makes condom splitting more likely. Keep refreshing it with more lube or a few drops of water during sex. Spit can spread some STIs, so avoid using saliva.
  • Reducing the number of sexual partners you have.
  • Getting tested for STIs before having sex with someone new and advising that they also get tested.  If you are having frequent changes in sexual partners then 3 monthly STI testing is recommended.
  • Reducing other things that may affect your decisions, such has consuming too much alcohol or taking drugs.

 

Have you been exposed to HIV?

If you are concerned you might have been exposed to HIV (had unprotected sex with someone whose HIV status you do not know, or know to be positive and not on fully suppressed (undetectable) on treatment, or shared injecting equipment), you may be eligible for Post-exposure Prophylaxis.

Undetectable = Untransmittable.

Effective HIV treatment (ART) lets people lead healthy active lives and also protects their partners. When viral load is undetectable on ART, HIV is no longer sexually transmitted - with or without condoms. The evidence for this comes from many studies, including PARTNER and PARTNER 2.More info on U=U available here.

Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP or PEPSE) is medication you can take to help reduce the chance of HIV transmission. It is a month long course of medication that is taken after unprotected sex where there has been a higher risk of exposure. PEP or PEPSE should be taken as soon as possible after sex, and definitely within 72 hours. The earlier it is started the more likely it is to work. You will need to have an assessment with a doctor or nurse before you are prescribed this medication. It is important that you complete the course once you have started it.

If you are worried that you have been exposed to HIV you should attend your local sexual health clinic or an Accident and Emergency department straight away.

All orders received before 1:00 pm Mon-Fri (excl bank holidays) will be dispatched the same day.

  • Royal Mail 1st Class – Free
  • Tracked delivery – £6.00 (incl VAT)
  • Next working day guaranteed delivery - £13.00 (incl VAT) (You must be available to sign for your package. No refunds will be given if you are unable to sign for your delivery.)

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