- Created on 19 June 2015
A 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 STI’s; 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.
SH:24’s 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 don’t get tested for a number of reasons –inconvenience, embarrassment about going to a clinic, or not realising they’re at risk. SH:24 aims to increase efficiency and improve the experience for users, as well as radically improving sexual health outcomes. It’s 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