HIV home test kits free on demand in Greater Manchester
Home testing kits for HIV and syphilis are being offered free on demand for the first time in a trial being carried out in Greater Manchester.
People will be able to order the kits online or via a helpline in the scheme. Until now NHS funded testing has always been carried out in clinics.
The kits will be posted on demand by sexual health screening service, RUClear.
The scheme was introduced to increase diagnosis of the illnesses.
Kits contain a dry blood test, which provides users with a small needle to prick their finger and a card on which to return their sample to the service.
They are being offered to anyone living in Greater Manchester who is aged over 16.
Diane Cordwell, Programme Lead for RUClear, said: "Currently, most HIV and syphilis testing takes place in Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics and ante natal settings.
"By taking screening outside of traditional settings and offering our residents home testing, we are able to increase uptake and make diagnosis earlier, thus reducing avoidable infections, illness and premature mortality.
"With early diagnosis, HIV becomes a manageable illness where people can go on to live long, healthy and active lives."
Participants are contacted with their result two weeks after submitting their test.