Free home sampling HIV service

Besi Besemar February 28, 2013


In a move to encourage better sexual health amongst students, HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) will offer a free postal HIV sampling service to gay and bisexual men attending Student Pride in Brighton on Saturday March 2.

Staff from the Terrence Higgins Trust will be based at a stall inside the Brighton Dome from 12.00pm to 5.00pm, where gay and bisexual men will have the opportunity to sign-up to receive an HIV sampling kit through the post. The service requires the user to provide a finger-prick of blood, which they then send to the lab for testing. Users should receive their result within a week of them returning the sample, either by text message (if the result is negative) or with a telephone call to provide support and refer to specialist HIV services (if the result is reactive).

Staff and volunteers from the charity will also hand out free condoms and offer advice on safer sex and the importance of regular testing, as well as talking to students about the sexual health services on offer in their area.

Gay and bisexual men remain one of the groups most at risk of HIV infection in the UK. However, one in four gay and bisexual men with HIV is unaware that they have it. This has been identified as a key factor driving the epidemic among this group. Home sampling schemes provide an alternative method of testing for men who are unable to access their local sexual health clinic or who want a more private way to test.

Justin Harbottle from Terrence Higgins Trust in Brighton, said:

With a higher proportion of younger gay men being diagnosed with HIV than there have been in previous years, it is vital that sexual health services engage with the younger members of the gay community. Student Pride provides us with the perfect opportunity to do this. Our home-sampling service makes testing for HIV even more convenient, and we look forward to telling those attending the event about it.”

Student Pride will be held at the Brighton Dome and Corn Exchange on Church Street on Saturday March 2.

For more information on Terrence Higgins Trust’s services in Brighton email: