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HIV Testing FAQs


We’re answering the most common questions we’re asked at our HIV testing drop-ins so you’re clued up on what happens during a test if you decide to take one. See our HIV testing FAQs below:

Is it confidential?

As with all of our sexual health services, our HIV testing drop-ins are totally confidential. This means we won’t tell anyone that you’ve been to see us, including your GP, family members or partners. The only time we will break this confidentiality is if we feel there is a risk of harm to yourself or someone else.


What will I be asked?

You’ll be asked for some basic information, such as your name, date of birth and contact information. All your information is kept confidential within sexual health services.


Does it hurt?

It’s just a fingerprick so there is a tiny bit of pain when your finger is pricked but it only lasts about a second. Most people we test say it doesn’t hurt.


How long will it take for my results to come back?

When you take a fingerprick test with us we give you your results in 20 minutes. You can wait in our drop-in venue for the results or pop back after 20 minutes to get your results.


Will it test for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) too?

No – our fingerprick test only tests for HIV. For a full STI test you will need to visit the sexual health clinic at Cobridge Community Health Centre.


How long after sex does the test take to pick HIV up?

HIV can take up to 1 month to show up on a test.


What happens if it comes back positive?

If your test comes back as reactive, we’ll take you to the sexual health clinic in Cobridge for a confirmatory test and a chat with one of our health advisers. If the confirmatory test also comes back as positive, you’ll be given an appointment with one of our HIV Clinical Nurse Specialists where they will talk to you about treatment and care options. People living with HIV in the UK these days have long, healthy and happy lives thanks to advancements in treatment (below is a quote from one of our HIV Clinical Nurse Specialists).


Where can I get tested?

We hold drop-ins on the last Wednesday and Thursday of every month at the Piccadilly Centre in Hanley from 5-8pm.

You can also have a full STI test (which includes testing for HIV) at the sexual health clinic at Cobridge Community Health Centre.


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LGBT Stoke is a service provided by the Sexual Health Prevention Team from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust