Home Testing Now Available For HIV

Self test kits for HIV which give an instant result are legally on sale in Scotland for the first time, following a change in the law last year. The move has been welcomed by NHS Forth Valley who believe it could help more people get tested, especially those who live in rural areas or would prefer not to go to their local GP or clinic. However the kits do not replace the existing free, fast and confidential testing services currently provided by the health service, which also offer emotional support.

NHS Forth Valley Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Managed Care Network (MCN) Manager, Carol Crawford, said: Estimates suggest that as many as 25% of people living with HIV in Scotland don’t know they have the virus, so increasing testing is critical. Especially given that if people with HIV are diagnosed and get treatment quickly, they can become no longer infectious and live long, active lives.”

The new BioSure HIV Self-test kits have received a European safety and quality mark and are available online (www.hivselftest.co.uk) Meanwhile local HIV testing is offered at GP surgeries and NHS Forth Valley Sexual Health Service (01786 433697, Helpline 01324 613944)