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HIV tests

Find out about the different ways you can have an HIV test

If you think you have been exposed to HIV, seek medical advice as soon as possible and before you order an at home test

Testing for HIV

The only way to find out if you have HIV is to have an HIV test.

The earlier HIV is diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming ill.

At home HIV tests

Order a free and confidential HIV home test if you think you may have been exposed to HIV or if you are in an at-risk group.

The home test is delivered to you and involves collecting a small finger-prick blood sample. You then post this back for free to be tested.

Getting an HIV test in person

You can also get a HIV test at your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic. Results usually take 3–5 days.

Some GPs and sexual health clinics can provide a rapid HIV test which gives immediate results.

You can find your local sexual health clinic on the Lewisham and Greenwhich NHS website.

Groups of people who are at risk

Anyone can get HIV but some people are at higher risk. At-risk groups are:

  • people from black African communities
  • men who have sex with men
  • injecting drug users who share needles or syringes.

HIV facts

  • We have a high rate of HIV infection compared to the London and England average.
  • As of 2018, our rate of diagnosed HIV is 8 in 1,000 residents. This is the 6th highest of a London borough.
  • Estimates suggest that one in five people in London with HIV do not know that they have it.
  • As of 2018, 44% of people in the borough diagnosed with HIV are diagnosed late and are already unwell.

You can find more information about HIV and AIDS on the NHS website.