Give HIV the finger: a finger-prick test is all it takes

This National HIV Testing Week you can order a free test from to take from the comfort of your own home.

Testing for HIV is quick and easy, and right now the safest way for us all to test is from home. All it takes is a finger-prick test.

Why should you get a test?

The number of people diagnosed with HIV is falling, but there is still work to do.

Anyone can get HIV and can live a long time without any symptoms. Taking a test is the only way to know your status.

Testing puts you in control and, thanks to treatment, will stop you from getting seriously ill, allow you to live a normal lifespan and prevent you from passing the virus on to anyone else.

Anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment and support.

In Brighton & Hove:

  • new HIV diagnoses fell by 66% between 2013 and 2020.
  • an estimated 94% of people living with HIV know their status, and 99% of these are on antiretroviral treatment.
  • 99% of people with HIV on treatment have undetectable virus levels in their blood, meaning they cannot pass it on.

Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, took a HIV test at home to show how easy and quick it is to test:

“One in 16 people with HIV are unaware they have it. They spend an average of three to five years not knowing, and that obviously increases the risk of passing HIV on to sexual partners.

“If you have HIV, finding out means you can start treatment, you can stay healthy and you can avoid passing the virus on to anyone else.

“So please join me, this HIV Testing Week, in getting your test.”

Councillor Sue Shanks, Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board also took the test:

“HIV is being coped with, not through vaccination, but through treatment and knowledge. And by making sure that people who are HIV positive know they are. So it’s important that we make sure that anybody can get tested easily.

“Don’t let the lockdown put you off as you don’t have to leave home to get a test. It only took a few minutes to order it online and another few to take the test once it arrived.”

Marc Tweed, Centre Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust, Brighton said:

“Testing from home is the safest option for us all. You can order a free HIV self-sampling test kit straight to your door, equipped with detailed instructions on how to use it.

“Once you return your sample to the lab, you’ll receive a text with your result in a few days. If your results come back positive, we can offer all the support, advice and information you need. 

“Getting tested regularly should be something we’re all doing in order to protect ourselves. The sooner you find out your status, the better. People living with HIV and on effective treatment can not only live long fulfilled lives after, but they also can’t pass on the virus to others.

“During these uncertain times, we want to make sure that people are still making their sexual health a priority.”

Get sexual health support in Brighton & Hove

Terrence Higgins Trust, Brighton provides support, information and advice services for those living with HIV and affected by HIV or poor sexual health.

The Brighton office is currently closed but you can find out what phone and online support or advice the team can offer on their website.

Brighton & Hove Sexual Health & Contraception Service provides information and services around sexual health and contraception that are available to everyone, regardless of age and sexuality.

Some face to face services are still running. Please check the website for the latest information.

More information about National HIV Testing Week and testing for HIV is available from It Starts With Me and HIV Prevention England.

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