Where do I go for an HIV test/sexual health screen?

There are various places to go for an HIV blood test, such as:

  • sexual health clinics, also called genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics
  • clinics run by the Terrence Higgins Trust
  • some GP surgeries
  • some contraception and young people’s clinics
  • local drugs agencies
  • at an antenatal clinic, if you are pregnant
  • a private clinic

It is also possible to get home sampling kits, where a sample of blood or saliva is sent to a laboratory for analysis. Saliva tests are less reliable than using blood, and selling home tests to the general public that do not require samples to be analysed in a laboratory is illegal in the UK.

If you go to your GP for a HIV test, the results will be confidential but will go on your medical records. This means, for example, that certain insurance companies will be able to see them. This will not be the case if you go to a private clinic, but you will have to pay for the test.

Sexual health services at GUM clinics are free and available to everyone, regardless of sex, age, ethnic origin and sexual orientation. All information regarding your visit to the sexual health clinic will be confidential, and your GP will not be contacted without your permission.

Some services can tell you your test result on the same day, but it can sometimes take up to a week or two to get the results.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 26/06/2013

Next review due: 26/06/2015