HIV test finder

Find out where you can have an HIV test

HIV testing is free and confidential in the UK. Use the HIV test finder to find an HIV testing centre convenient to you.

Are you seeking a test because of a possible risk of HIV exposure in the last 72 hours?

If so, post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, may be of benefit to you. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is the use of antiretroviral drugs to reduce the risk of HIV infection. PEP can prevent HIV from entering cells in the body and so stop you from becoming infected with HIV. PEP is only effective if it is begun within 72 hours (three days) of being exposed to HIV.

Click here to find out if you could benefit from PEP, and how to access PEP. 

Things it’s good to know about having an HIV test

You can test for free at an NHS sexual health clinic or GP surgery. There are also community-based testing centres in a range of locations.

Testing is confidential. It takes place in a private room. If you go to a sexual health clinic, you don’t need to give your real name. The result will not be given to your family, the government or the immigration authorities without your permission.

Before you have your test, a member of staff should tell you what the test involves and answer any questions you have.

There are two main types of HIV tests. 

  • In the most commonly used tests, blood is taken from your arm. The results will be ready within 48 hours or up to two weeks later.
  • The other test needs either a little blood from your finger or a swab from the inside your mouth. These 'rapid' HIV tests provide results in 30 minutes or less.

The final test result will either be ‘HIV negative’ (you don’t have HIV) or ‘HIV positive’ (you have HIV).

If the result is positive, you will be put in touch with medical care and support services.

You can find out more about HIV testing here.

Home testing

Some services allow you to take a blood sample or saliva sample at home. You send this to a laboratory and you will be informed of the test result by phone, by post or online. Some people appreciate the convenience and privacy of this approach, while others prefer a service that offers face-to-face support. For a list of these services, please click here.

For the moment, tests which allow you to perform the whole test at home are illegal in the UK. Self-testing kits purchased from the internet are frequently unreliable and do not meet European quality standards.

More information about HIV

There’s lots of information and support available to help you protect yourself from HIV.

Click here for information on safer sex.

Click here for information on safer injecting.

You can use NAM’s e-atlas to find prevention services near you.

If your test results show you have HIV, you won’t have to face it alone.

Find information for people who have just been diagnosed here.

Staff at your testing centre will talk to you about treatment and care options, but you can also look for HIV clinics here.

There are lots of free sources of information and support available for people with HIV.

You can use NAM’s e-atlas to find advice and support services for people with HIV.

HIV test finder

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