Your test kit
Taking your samples
You need to take your own samples to be tested – this is known as self-sampling.
You might need to give a urine sample or take a swab from your vagina, bottom or your throat.
Depending on the test you choose, you may need to take a blood sample. You will receive guidance in your testing kit, but this is how the finger-prick test works:
Get tested at the right time
If you’re sexually active, then regular STI testing is one of the best things you can do to look after your health. After a person has been exposed to an STI there may be some time before the infection shows up on a test. This is different for each infection:
- Chlamydia: 2 weeks after last exposure
- Gonorrhoea: 2 weeks after last exposure
- HIV: 8 weeks after last exposure (although tests done after 4 weeks are accurate 9 out of 10 times)
- Syphilis: 3 months after last exposure
- Hepatitis B: 3 months after last exposure
- Hepatitis C: 3 months after last exposure
- Mycoplasma genitalium: 2 weeks after last exposure
- Trichomonas: 4 weeks after last exposure
Help and advice
If you are concerned, it is never too soon to ask for help and advice.
We only provide a screening service. If you have symptoms, think you have been exposed to an STI or have any other concerns regarding your sexual health, please seek help and advice from:
- Your GP or a doctor.
- Your local sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.
- The NHS sexual health helpline on 0800 567 123.
- The FPA sexual health helpline on 0845 122 8690.