How do I take a blood sample?
You’ll need to take a blood sample to test for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. It involves pricking your finger with a special needle called a lancet and it shouldn’t be too painful.
You might feel a bit nervous, but the following tips can help:
- Asking a friend to help take your blood sample can make it easier.
- Drink a big glass of water 30 minutes before.
- Make sure your hands are really warm. This really helps! Wash them in warm water for a minute or more, hold them over a radiator or even have a bath.
- Swing your arms in a circular motion and clench and relax your hands several times.
We've recommend you watch our at home self-sampling video full of handy hint and tips before you start you start your blood test - WATCH NOW
- Remove the yellow lid from the tube and gently push the tube into the corner of the case, so that it stands up.
- Wash your hands and wipe your middle finger with the cleaning wipe.
- Twist off the top of the lancet.
- Push the lancet firmly on your finger until you hear a click. Wipe away the first drop of blood with a clean tissue. Note: The lancet will only activate once.
- Stand up and gently massage your finger from the base to the tip. It can help if you start at your wrist and massage from there down to your finger tip. Do not squeeze the tip of your finger.
- Drip blood into the collection tube.
Fill the tube to above the 400 line (up to the top line is best). Use a new lancet on a different finger if you need more blood.
Press the lid on the tube until it clicks. Shake the tube and then place in the transport pack.
Place your samples in the box with the completed return slip. Insert the two large tabs into the slots and seal with the security tape included in the kit.
The box is free to return, so pop it in any postbox.
To help the blood flow, take a hot shower or bath just before you collect your sample.
Stay standing with your hand just below your waist and your arm straight.
The safety lancet isn't painful but if you're nervous, you could ask someone to help.