Online sexual health tests could double the number of Londoners getting tested

It is vital for sexually active people to keep a check on their sexual health; however, it is not always practical to attend a GUM clinic and many people feel embarrassed to physically sit in a clinic and queue to see a sexual health specialist for testing. It is therefore great to know that the arrival of online sexual health tests is helping more people to safeguard their health and wellbeing; in fact, it is believed that their arrival could double the number of people in London who choose to be tested.

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A possible way to reduce STI incidences?

The news has been revealed in a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which found that rolling out more online testing could drastically reduce the incidences of HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis. The authors suggest that these services should not be used to replace face-to-face services; instead, they should complement them and increase the options available to people seeking to look after their health.

A Kings College Hospital spokesperson said that medical practitioners in the city realised that a huge unmet need for STI testing was in place across London, with the hospital turning away individuals from sexual health testing services daily because demand was exceeding service availability.

Online testing kits are quick, easy, secure and reliable when the instructions are followed. Customers order their test kit in the clinic using a tablet and the test is put together immediately. The individual then takes it home and completes it. The swab is posted confidentially to the lab, with a text message result in 72 hours.

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Positive results from home testing

A home testing trial was delivered to over 2,000 residents in Southwark and Lambeth who wanted sexual health testing. The results found that the take-up increased nearly two-fold when internet-ordered home testing kits were made available. As a result, the new e-service will be rolled out across London from next year and will be in place across 27 city boroughs by the summer. Individuals who want an STI test Bexley can order one from websites such as https://www.checkurself.org.uk/plus/.

The news will be positive for all individuals keen to protect their health and for NHS chiefs keen to see testing and treatment rates increase to prevent the spread of STIs.

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