Test yourself for STIs & HIV
Looking for a way to test for STIs and HIV a little more privately? Don’t live anywhere near a sexual health clinic, or it’s just hard for you to get to one?
We might have you covered.
Ending HIV has partnered with Sexual Health 101 to send out but full STI screening kits - so you can take all of the tests (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and HIV) in one go!
Everything is super confidential. Your kit comes in discreet packaging and has simple instructions on how to do each test at home (or your work, or the gym - anywhere you feel comfortable). There is a blood test that you'll need to get at the lab, and we'll include a form with everything you need, all printed and prepaid. You just need to swing by a lab when it’s convenient for you and get that last test when you drop off your home samples.
We wanted to make sure folks outside of the main centres, or in living situations where they can’t get to testing places easily, can test regularly and affordably - so Ending HIV has subsidised these tests for those who are eligible, bringing the price right down to $20 total, ($40-$65 if not eligible). That includes courier fees, lab costs, the tests themselves and everything else!
So, how does it work?
All you have to do is click here and fill out a short form. If you are eligible and this service is available in your area (Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Marlborough, Nelson, Otago, Southland, Auckland, Canterbury or Wellington), an option to buy an HIV and STI self-test kit should pop up. Simply click that link and fill out the next form so we know where to send it and can process payment. The kits are $20 if you’re eligible for the subsidised version, and $40-$65 if not.
Then, wait a few working days for it to show up and the rest of the instructions are all in your kit.
It’s that easy!
What do I do when it arrives?
The first thing we’d recommend is to set up somewhere you’re comfortable and not likely to be interrupted. Then carefully read and follow the instructions on the cards and booklets provided.
There should be two packs inside your kit:
- One is the HIV self-test, which contains a guidebook, test instructions and the actual test items.
- The other should contain three guide cards that tell you which items you need from the bag provided and how to use them to get your other samples.
- What’s in the bag:
- Rectal (bum) swab
- Throat swab
- Front-hole or vaginal swabs if you need them
- Urine (pee) sample kit
- You’ll also find two forms. These are what tell the lab your tests have been paid for when you take, or courier, your samples in.
A few common questions?
Why is this service only available in certain locations?
The locations above are the ones Sexual Health 101 currently have contracts/agreements with. We expect this list to grow as more partners are brought on board.
How accurate are home tests over the tests I get in the GP’s office?
Most of the tests you’ll be gathering samples for at home are actually the same ones processed at your GP, so they’ll have the same level of accuracy. When it comes to the HIV self-test, it’s less about accuracy and more about the window period (usually up to 3 months, but usually 4-6 weeks). This is the time it can take from infection to being detectable by a rapid antibody test. This is because these tests measure your body’s response to infection, not HIV itself.
Can I use these tests as my baseline screening for getting PrEP?
This is going to have to be a question for your healthcare provider. Most providers will require a blood test for HIV as opposed to a rapid-swab and there also needs to be liver function testing before starting PrEP. But your provider may be happy for you to test for syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia this way.