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.
Home STI testing kits
Our home STI testing service is called sh.uk. This is provided by a company called Preventx. You order online and it will be sent to your home in discreet packaging.
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.
If you need advice or want to discuss your testing needs before ordering, please call Reception on 01582 497070 and book a telephone appointment.
Who can get a kit?
The service is for Luton Borough residents aged 16 or above. Home STI testing is available to all genders and sexualities.
Non-Luton Borough Residents:
If you live outside of Luton, or live in Luton but your address falls under Central Bedfordshire (e.g. Slip End, Caddington, Streatley) then you will not be eligible for our home testing service. You can still test in our clinic, or order a home test kit from the relevant sexual health service for your address:
- Slip End, Caddington, Streatley, Dunstable, or anywhere else in Bedfordshire – you will need to order via the iCaSH website
- Hertfordshire – you will need to order via the SH24 website.
- Any other county – please contact your local sexual health clinic or search online for local testing services.
If you are under 15 – you will need to arrange to come to clinic for all of your testing. You can call Reception on 01582 497070, or call the Outreach team on 07976406909 or 07976406912 to discuss further.
If you are aged 15
- You can come to our clinic for all of your testing or
- You can pick up a testing kit from various pharmacies in Luton, or from our Outreach 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, this is not available on community testing kits but you can have this done in clinic
How do I order 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.
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.
Please do not allow anyone else to order kits under your account or details. If you have a friend or family member who requires a testing kit, they will need to register their own account under their own name. This is so we can maintain accurate health records about you, and prevent any difficulties in contacting the correct person if an infection is detected.
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.
If you have had Syphilis in the past, you can now test via a home kit. We will review your blood results to check there is any new infection.
If you already know you are HIV positive, your blood sample will not be tested for HIV.
How to take your samples
The kit will contain written instructions on how to take your samples. You can also read info online and watch instructional videos at the links below
When should I test?
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.
Updates on my kit & results
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 contacted via text or email (depending on your preferences) 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.
If you have ordered multiple kits you may get a message stating you have reached your kit limit and you will be unable to order more. If this is the case, please send us a message via your SH.UK account, or call us and the Reception team will ask a Health Advisor to assist you.
Please contact us for assistance rather than attempting to create a new account – this service is 1 account per person. This is to avoid confusion of your results being under multiple different accounts and helps us maintain accurate health records and have your correct contact details available. Many thanks
Problems taking your blood sample
Some people can find it tricky to get enough blood from the finger prick test. Watch the instructional video here
If you can’t get enough blood then you can still return the kit. The lab may still be able to test the blood if it is just below the amount stated, but if it is too little they may be unable to test for HIV & Syphilis. They will still test your other samples for Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea.
If the lab is unable to test your blood, you can come to clinic for your blood test or order another kit to attempt it again.