It is possible to test yourself at home. You can order postal tests where you send away for results or self tests that show results in a matter of minutes. Terrence Higgins Trust provide self test kits for £15, with a limited number available for free for those who are unable to pay.

Most self testing kits ordered online and done at home will usually provide a result within 15 minutes, depending on the kit.

If you use postal testing, the lab will normally contact you a week or so later with your result. 

There is a 12-week testing window for self tests. Blood tests that you send off to a lab and those available at sexual health clinics have a four-week testing window.

In practical terms, this means that a self test tells you what your HIV status was 12 weeks ago, while a blood test tells you what your status was four weeks ago.

Self tests are available from various brands and retailers in-store and online. If you’re using a self test, look out for the CE mark