Out In The City


Better Safe Than Sorry: Test Yourself At Home

imagesA new free online STI test service is transforming public sexual health services by providing home STI tests and results within a week.

SH:24 are a community interest company, working in partnership with the NHS, integrating services to give people diagnoses as quickly as possible, while acknowledging the all-important need for confidentiality.

SH:24 enables its users to order home testing kits for the four most common STIs; chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV. It includes a freepost envelope to return your samples in.No personal details need be supplied on any post/samples you return. If a positive diagnosis is given, users get fast-track access to treatment at their local clinic.

The website is entirely free of charge to residents of Lambeth and Southwark, areas that have some of the highest rates of infection in the UK, and large populations of social groups statistically most likely to contract STIs; young people, gay men and black and minority communities. With walk-in clinic waiting times sometimes up to 3 hours in these boroughs, SH:24 ensures people can access diagnosis and treatment on their own schedule.


As well as working with the NHS, SH:24 have collaborated with Lambeth and Southwark councils, who commission the service for their residents. The service recently joined an LGBT community event in Vauxhall to get feedback from the LGBT community. SH:24 would like to expand the service to other parts of London and the country - if you dont live in Lambeth and Southwark but would like to access such a service email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so they can let other health commissioners know there is a demand for the service.

SH:24s Programme Director, Dr Gillian Holdsworth, said: A third of people attending sexual health clinics could potentially self-manage using SH:24 thereby avoiding a clinic visit. We also know many people who want or need a test dont get tested for a number of reasons inconvenience, embarrassment about going to a clinic, or not realising theyre at risk. SH:24 aims to increase efficiency and improve the experience for users, as well as radically improving sexual health outcomes. Its available 24 hours a day, with confidentiality and results by text within a week guaranteed.

SH:24 will be giving out info cards at Pride March on 27 June and have a stall at Pride in the Park on 28 June, say hello and ask any questions you may have. You can access the service or get more information at www.sh24.org.uk

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