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STI Testing

Luton Sexual Health provides free, professional, confidential testing, diagnosis and treatment for a range of genital symptoms and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

STI’s affect people differently and only some will develop common symptoms. Many people with an STI will not notice any symptoms. Check the infections page for more information.

If you are sexually active, a regular sexual health check-up is a good idea – especially when you change partners.

Window periods:

Following sex without a condom there is a ‘window period’ in which it may be too early for STI’s to be detected by the tests.

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can take up 2 weeks to show up in a urine or swab test
  • Syphilis can take up to 12 weeks (3 months) to show up on a blood test
  • HIV can take up to 45 days to show up on a blood test taken in clinic, or 90 days on a Point of Care Test (finger prick or saliva)

We recommend that you wait at least 2 weeks after having sex without a condom sex to do an STI screen. You may need to repeat some tests at a later date if you are still inside the testing window period. However, if you are experiencing any concerning symptoms (such as abdominal pain, testicular pain, generalised body rash or sores/ulcers), you can book a telephone appointment to assess your needs even within above window periods.

Testing in clinic

Before testing in clinic, you will need to have a telephone assessment to determine your needs. Please book a telephone appointment by calling Reception on 01582 497070

The Doctor or Nurse will advise on whether you need to come to clinic, or if you can order a home testing kit. There are various reasons why you might need to come to clinic such as

  • You need screening for infections which can’t be tested for via home kits
  • You have had syphilis in the past and need to test for this again (can only be done on clinic blood test)
  • You need an examination or other services such as vaccines in clinic
  • You live outside our home testing area
  • You are under 16 years old
  • Any other reason home testing is not suitable for you which you have discussed with the clinician

Testing in clinic may involve a member of the clinical team taking samples from your genitals, you taking your own sample from your genitals, providing a urine sample, and / or the clinical team taking a blood sample. The type of testing required will be discussed with you on your telephone appointment, and explained to you when you attend the clinic.

Accessing results

If you have been tested in clinic, you will be given a card which tells you what you have been tested for. You can obtain your result by calling the automated results line on 01582 497071 and selecting option 1.

You will need your index number which will also be given to you on the card.

Please allow 2 weeks for all results to become available – our members of staff will not be able to chase up any outstanding results until it has passed 2 weeks since you were tested. If you have not heard from us and you still have outstanding results after 2 weeks, please let us know and we will check up on these for you.

If you have any infections or results which we need to speak to you about, our Health Advisors will contact you. Calls will come from a Luton & Dunstable Hospital number, or a withheld number. We may then need to call you after you have finished any treatment to follow up.

Home testing

Our home STI testing service is called sh.uk. This is provided by a company called Preventx.

Home testing kits are available to the majority of Luton postcode residents. You order online and it will be sent to your home in discreet packaging.

Who can get a kit?

Home STI testing kits are available to the majority of Luton postcode residents. Home STI testing is available to all genders.

Kits are available to people aged 16 or above.

Under 16’s:

If you are aged 15 – 24, you can pick up a testing kit from various pharmacies in Luton, or from our Outreach Education Team if they visit your place of education. These kits will test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. If you need a blood test for Syphilis or HIV, you can have this done in clinic.

If you are under 15, you will need to arrange to come to clinic for all of your testing. You can call 01582 497070, or call the Outreach team on 07976406909 or 07976406912 to discuss further.

For all ages, if you need advice or want to discuss your testing needs before ordering, please call Reception on 01582 497070 and book a telephone appointment.

 

Non-eligible postcodes:

If you live in Slip End, Caddington, Streatley, Dunstable or anywhere else in Bedfordshire, you will need to order via the iCaSH website

If you live in Hertfordshire, you will need to order via the SH24 website.

If you live in any other county, please contact your local sexual health clinic or search online for local testing services.

 

How do I get a kit?

Please follow this link to register for the service. Once you have registered, you will have an account where you can log in and order a kit. You will be asked some questions to determine the best tests for you.

If you are experiencing any issues ordering a kit, please call Preventx on 0333 344 4462 or email info@preventx.com

When creating your account, please make sure you register with the correct details such as name, date of birth and address – otherwise we may have difficulty contacting you or performing an ID check if we need to speak with you about your results.

Once ordered, the kit will be delivered by Royal Mail and posted through your letterbox. It will be in discrete packaging.

What infections does it test for?

Before ordering, you will be asked some questions to determine the best tests for you.

You may be offered a test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea . These are done via a urine sample, or swabs from the vagina, rectum or throat.

You may also be offered a blood test for Syphilis and HIV. This is done via a fingerprick blood test.

If you have had Syphilis in the past, you will not be able to test for it via home testing. You will need to have a blood test in clinic to determine if there is any new infection.

If you already know you are HIV positive, your blood sample will not be tested for HIV.

 

What does the kit contain?

The kit will contain all the equipment and instructions you need. The equipment will vary depending on what infections you are testing for, and where you need to take the sample from.

  • Urine collection container for someone with a penis, or swab for someone who has a vagina
  • May also contain swabs for rectum and throat samples
  • May contain a finger prick blood test

If you need more information about taking the samples, please watch the instructional videos here

Once you have done your tests, put it in the postbox and it will be sent back to the testing lab. Please make sure you fill out all required information such as the date you took the samples, otherwise the lab may not be able to process your tests.

Updates on my kit

For updates on the progress of your testing kit, please log in to your sh.uk account

You will be able to see when your kit has arrived at the lab, and if it is in the process of being tested.

You will be texted telling you that you can log in to view your results once the processing is complete. Please make sure you keep your mobile number and email address up to date on your account if these change before you receive the results of your test.

If you have any infections or results which we need to speak to you about, our Health Advisors will contact you. Calls will come from a Luton & Dunstable Hospital number, or a withheld number. We may then need to call you after you have finished any treatment to follow up.

 

Some STI testing is also available at local pharmacies.