New HIV Self-Testing Service Available in NHS Forth Valley

Working in partnership with two Scottish charities, NHS Forth Valley is urging people to get tested and end new HIV transmissions.

HIV Self-Test Scotland is a new HIV self-testing service, offering people a free, quick, and easy way to find out their status. The service is delivered by Waverley Care and HIV Scotland, and is available to people across Scotland. NHS Forth Valley is locally funding this service, with support from Waverley Care’s health improvement team. Dedicated community outreach workers from Waverley Care’s health improvement team currently deliver support to people living with HIV in Forth Valley.

A HIV self-test can be ordered in less than five minutes from test is free, confidential, and is delivered directly to an address of the person’s choice. The test provides an accurate result in 15 minutes, using just a small finger prick sample of blood.

Grant Sugden, Chief Executive of Waverley Care said: “There are still around 500 people living with HIV in Scotland who don’t know their status. Diagnosing people living with HIV is the first step in preventing new transmissions, as people can then access effective treatment. Treatment suppresses the virus to levels that cannot be transmitted through sex.

“HIV Self Test Scotland is a great new project which strengthens the partnership between the third sector and NHS Forth Valley, providing people living in the area with a new option for HIV testing. Regardless of your test result, dedicated support is available to all from our health improvement team, supporting you to access treatment or to stay negative. Although HIV testing is provided by local health services, thisit can be challenging for people in some areas to access. This new initiative gives people another option to access regular testing.”

Kirsty Abu-Rajab, NHS Forth Valley, Consultant for Genitourinary Medicine and HIV said: “I am delighted to see this HIV self testing project become available in Scotland and I am confident of its uptake and its ability to make testing easier for people across the country. This project also allows key information about positive sexual health and interventions such as HIV PREP to be shared with people who may not be aware of the services and support available. I really look forward to seeing feedback from this project and I’m really grateful to HIV Scotland and Waverley Care for setting up this important new service.”