Most people diagnosed with HIV in the UK acquire the virus through unprotected vaginal or anal sex. It’s also possible to catch HIV through unprotected oral sex but the risk is much lower and so it’s very rare.
The blood test kit checks whether you have contracted HIV.
You will need to produce a small blood sample using a sterile lancet that is enclosed within the test kit.
It’s very accurate (99.8%) at detecting the presence of HIV in your blood providing the sample is taken at least 45 days after potential exposure to the virus.
Most people who are infected with HIV experience a short ( lasting around 2 weeks) flu-like illness that occurs within 6 weeks of infection.
Once this passes an infected person usually feels fine for a number of years. During this time, known as asymptomatic HIV infection, the virus continues to be active and causes progressive damage to your immune system. This can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, tuberculosis (TB) and pneumonia. Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV can prevent these illnesses.
Therefore, it's extremely important that you get tested if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, even if you have no symptoms.
However, if you think you may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours please go to your local sexual health clinic or A&E dept. immediately to receive treatment.