New vending machines offering free sexual health testing kits have been launched in four venues across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire by Unity Sexual Health, the sexual health service led by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust.
The vending machines aim to provide an easy, free, fast and confidential way to test for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The service will be evaluated by researchers from the National Institute for Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West) and the Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation (HPRU) at the University of Bristol.
Two types of test kits are available from the vending machines. One is for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis. The other is an HIV mouth swab testing kit made available for free by Unity Sexual Health Clinic for the first time.
A person using the first test kit will be able to send their sample to a lab for free and get their results by text message in 1-3 weeks. Someone using the HIV testing kit will have to swab the inside of their cheek with a mouth swab to get a result in just 20 minutes.
Find out more here.