19 April 2021

Staying safe – getting tested during lockdown

Let’s talk about SEX baby. Safe Sex.

When was the last time you got an Sexual health test?

Even if you use condoms.

Even if you’re in a relationship.

Even if you’ve not had sex since 2019 (thanks pandemic!).

There’s never been a better time to get a quick sexual health screening. What else is there to do? And then you can rock into post lockdown life feeling fine, happy in the knowledge that you’re safe to have safe sex.

While the lockdowns prevail, there’s changing access to Sexual Health Clinic specialists, GUM clinics and dedicated services at GP’s. And you may not feel comfortable or able to visit an in-person appointment right now. Luckily, in the UK there’s other routes to getting your sexual health assessment:

Convenient, fast and free home testing:

You’re going to have to take some swabs, and maybe a finger pin-prick blood test – but the home testing kits will give you fast, free and reliable answers for a panel of sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

Which home tests you can get for free depends on where you live. But for most of the country, under 25’s can access free postal home check services for Chlamydia – check availability here.

There is also a well mapped free provision of HIV home tests across much of the UK.

If you’d like more information about support and services in your area, you can always contact the National Sexual Health Helpline on 03002137123. Or visit freetest.me for more details about the free services in your area.

Paid-for services

There are a number of paid for services, varying in price, location and testing coverage. These services are professional, reliable and discreet. You will receive the same level of confidentiality as with a doctor or GP. Home testing is incredibly useful and convenient, especially while we can’t leave the house!

Superdrug offer paid-for services starting at £29 for a chlamydia at home express test. Their full screening packages are £126. Find their full list of services here.

Lloyds pharmacy offer 3-day express results, and even genital photo services – all completely confidential and supported by one of their clinicians. No need to leave the house, and a full and professional service.

Remember that if you think you may have come into contact with HIV, contact your GP or health service as soon as possible. If you think you may be pregnant, or your contraception has failed, the morning after pill and other support services are widely available at pharmacies as well as doctors’ practices. And contraceptive services are still available nationwide at GP services.

For all STI screening, you need to wait 2 weeks from your last sexual experience to get an accurate result, but if you’re in pain or experiencing troubling symptoms reach out to your GP, GUM clinic or sexual health clinic as soon as possible.

And remember, the all-clear is not a golden ticket! Make sure you stay happy and healthy by practicing safe sex all the time, every time.