By May 2015 self testing HIV kits will be available from Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust’s (CNWL) online Freedoms shop.
The UK’s first legally approved HIV self-testing kit is anticipated to go on sale in the next few weeks on CNWL’s Freedoms shop website (www.freedoms-shop.com) for £29.95.
The self test is the first of its kind in the UK as it allows individuals, like a home pregnancy test, to receive their results at home.
Using a very small amount of blood from a finger prick sample to detect the presence of HIV antibodies, within 15-minutes. The test comes with a bag in which the used testing kit can be sealed and disposed of in household waste.
The Freedoms shop is stocking the HIV self-testing kits to encourage people who do not want to access NHS services to test for HIV. It is estimated that around 26,000 people in the UK are unaware they have HIV and are unknowingly responsible for the majority of onwards transmissions. Almost half of newly diagnosed cases in 2013 in the UK were diagnosed later than treatment should have started, affecting health and life expectancy.
Testing at home means those individuals who do not currently arrange an NHS HIV test can discreetly test themselves, when it’s convenient to them and in a place of their choosing.
Mark Maguire, CNWL’s Service Director Sexual Health and HIV, said;
“Our NHS clinic will still provide a free testing service, but this is a huge development in HIV testing, it’s normalising HIV testing and taking responsibility for your healthcare. We can provide the option for people to get tested in a clinic and now people across the country can test and get their results in a setting that they might be more conformable with.”
The HIV test is produced by BioSURE a company specialising in the provision of rapid in-vitro diagnostic testing solutions.