Are the postal kits you supply okay?

In response to the Hightop HIV/Aids Home Test Kit alert released by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 22nd August 2017, please be reassured that our postal home kits are not included in this alert. The Sexual Health Hub postal kits are provided by The Doctors Laboratory and display the CE kite-mark.

What is a reactive syphilis result?

Receiving a reactive result does not mean that you have syphilis. The most likely scenario is that of non-specific reactivity, however the possibility that this is a very recently acquired infection needs to be given consideration and a detailed review of any of the risk factors should be made.

You will need to give another blood sample, two samples will need to be given if you have initially used a postal test or point of care test, to be 100% certain of the result. Your diagnosis won’t be confirmed until after this extra test. Until a definitive result is confirmed it is very important to follow the advice of the healthcare professional and take precautions to avoid transmitting the virus.

What is a reactive HIV result?

A ‘reactive’ result from your finger prick test indicates that HIV antibodies may be present. However, this is NOT definite and reactive results can occur and a subsequent negative HIV result be determined.

If the test result is ‘reactive’ additional laboratory testing is required before a definitive HIV result can be confirmed.  To do this, the health professional will talk you through everything, including any worries that you may have and explain the need for venous blood samples to be taken for confirmatory results.

If the first confirmatory blood result is positive, you will then be asked to provide a second blood sample to be 100% certain of the result. Your diagnosis won’t be confirmed until after this extra test and you will be supported throughout. Until a definitive result is confirmed it is  very important to follow the advice of the healthcare professional and take precautions to avoid transmitting the virus.

What is Mycoplasma Genitalium?

Mycoplasma Genitalium is a type of small organism that can be passed on from one person to another through unprotected sex. It can affect both sexes. In men, this may cause Urethritis, which is usually experienced as unusual discharge and/or pain when passing urine (peeing). In women, it may cause unusual vaginal discharge.

Tests for Mycoplasma Genitalium are currently not widely available in the UK. If you think you have any symptoms of a genital infection, we suggest a full STI screen. An experienced sexual health clinician will be able to identify things which suggest an infection even without carrying out a specific test and give you appropriate treatment.

What happens if the results are positive?

If your results are positive, you will either receive a text message asking you to call the clinic or you will be contacted directly by our service. Sometimes, we have results that are uncertain so we need to redo the test. When you visit the appointment, your doctor, nurse or health advisor will explain your test results and what treatment you need. You will be asked how you would like to let your partner(s) know that they are at risk of an infection. If you prefer, our team can help you to get in touch with your partners. This is very important to stop any infection from spreading further and to start treatment if needed.

Most STIs can be treated when caught early but, if left, they can have serious consequences for health.

How do I get my results?

Some results may be available by the end of your consultation. For example, we can often get quick results for Gonorrhoea, NSU, Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Trichomonas Vaginalis (TV) and Thrush. If you are found to have an infection on the day, treatment is provided.

Usually though, you will find out your sexual health screen results by text message within seven to ten days. You will either receive a negative text if your screen was normal or be asked to contact the clinic to receive your results if they are positive and/or if you need to have more tests. All our text messages are discreet and we never use names of infections or use your clinic name.

Services normally have a results line that you can call to get your results. You’ll be told about this when you have your tests and how long you need to wait before calling.

Are the tests painful?

All the tests we do are usually painless but may cause some discomfort depending on your symptoms. The tests we may recommend include urine tests, swabs or blood tests. A swab is like a giant cotton bud that is used to take a sample from the infected area. Some people don’t like blood tests in general and find this stressful. Our colleagues will be very sympathetic so don’t feel embarrassed and make sure you let them know. They will do everything they can to put you at ease.

Will I get tested for everything?

No. We routinely test for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV. Certain infections can only be diagnosed at the time if they are visibly present, such as warts and herpes. Your clinician will decide what to test for based on your symptoms and the information you provide.