Sexual Health Services
in London and Surrey

Who should take an HIV test?

The only way to know your HIV status is to take an HIV test. We recommend that everyone over the age of 16 has an HIV test at least once.

We recommend repeat testing in the following situations:

  • If you are a man who has sex with men
  • If you have had more than one partner since your last test
  • You have injected drugs and / or shared needles or works to inject drugs
  • You have had sex without a condom with someone who has injected drugs
  • You have had another sexually transmitted infection
  • You have received a blood transfusion while in Africa, Eastern Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Asia or Central and Southern America
  • If you have exchanged sex for drugs or money.

We recommend that people testing for HIV also get tested for syphilis.


How do I take the test?

If you live in Surrey, we may offer you a home self-test for HIV and syphilis.

The self-test is a finger prick test. It requires you to extract at least 400 microliters of blood (about 10 drops of blood) from your finger using a lancet. A lancet is a sharp object which will make a small puncture or prick in your finger so you can draw blood out.


Some people find this quite difficult and prefer to make an appointment for a blood test.

Your home self-test kit will include further instructions.