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Order an STI test



Residents aged 16+ in Southend-on-Sea can now order a FREE postal STI test from SH:24.

A quick, confidential assessment will recommend the most appropriate kit for you, which can include tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis.

Tests arrive the next working day in a plain envelope, sent via first class post. The kits include clear instructions to help you take your own samples at home and a freepost envelope to return your samples. Results will be sent to you within 3 days.

Top tip: waiting two weeks after unprotected sex to take the test will provide a more accurate result. For HIV testing, you need to wait 6 weeks to take a test in order to get the most accurate result.

Please note: our postal test kits are for people who do not have any symptoms. If you have symptoms, please get in touch with Brook Southend for help with diagnosis and accessing treatment.


How does it work?


1

Complete a quick assessment

Just go to the SH:24 website and work through the questions. It only takes a few minutes and will determine what type of test you need.

2

You test will be despatched

Tests arrive the next working day in a plain envelope, sent via first class post.

3

Complete your test at home

Kits include clear instructions and links to online videos to help you take your own samples.

4

Send your completed test back to SH:24

Use the freepost envelope provided and pop it in the nearest postbox.

5

Results will be sent to you within 3 days

Most people will receive their results by text message. However, in some cases a clinician will call to discuss your test results and treatment.

6

Get treatment if you need it

If your test comes back positive, we will help you access treatment via SH:24, our clinic in Southend or another service. We can also help you notify your partner(s).


STI home testing FAQs


How will I receive my results?

Most people will receive their results by text message. However, in some cases an NHS clinician will call to discuss your test results and treatment.


Will my results be shared with anyone else?

Your results will never be shared with anyone else, in or outside the NHS, without your permission.


How accurate/reliable are the results?

No STI test is 100% accurate. It can take time for some STIs to show up in tests, so find out when STIs show up in tests before you take one.

The SH:24 laboratory works to strict, government enforced protocols to ensure results are as accurate as possible. If you have any concerns about the reliability of your results, we would be happy to talk to you.

A test result that shows a possible infection is called 'reactive'. For HIV testing, a 'reactive' test will require further investigation to confirm the result. False reactives are rare but do happen.


If I have an STI will I have to go to a sexual health clinic?

If you have an infection you may need to visit a clinic to receive treatment. A clinician will be available to discuss your treatment with you.


When should I just go straight to a clinic?

We would strongly recommend that you visit a clinic as soon as you can, if one or more of the following applies to you:

  • If you have been sexually assaulted
  • If you are a man who has sex with men and have had unprotected sex in the last three days
  • If you have any symptoms (find out more about STI symptoms)
  • If you have had unprotected sex in the last five days and think you are at risk of being pregnant
  • If you are under the age of 16

Do I have to order the test to my home?

No - the test does not have to be delivered to your home, though this is the fastest way to get it.

If you would prefer to have your test delivered to a friend's house, workplace or other location please put that as the delivery address. However, please note that free tests are only available to residents of Southend-on-Sea and can only be sent to addresses within those locations.