Helpful advice on Taking Your Test

Why you need to take your time

We get a lot of Home STI Kits returned to our lab with insufficient blood to enable the various tests to be completed. Please take time to read the advice on this page, before you attempt your test, and follow all the instructions in your in-pack guidance notes carefully. In addition, try to allow yourself at least a half hour to take the test, so that you have the time and space to be able to complete it and label your sample slowly and accurately.

How to order another kit

If your results come back indicating you didn't supply enough blood or the sample leaked in transit or you had an 'Equivocal' result i.e. your test was inconclusive, then in these instances you will need to re-test. If you need another kit sent to you within one month of completing your last test, please get in contact with us, by email: and we'd be happy to get another one out to you. If it's been more than a month you should be able to order another kit from our website without any problems. Please contact us if you can't.

Steps to follow to complete your Home HIV Test

Find below some good advice on how to complete your Home HIV Kit tests, these may help you to provide sufficient and accurate samples to the Lab:- 

  • Do not label your blood bottle until you have taken your sample, so that you can see how much blood you have collected.
  • Fill the blood bottle to above the top orange line – that’s really important. Use the 3 lancets provided if you start to heal and “dry-up” so you get enough blood out.
  • If the side of your little finger doesn't work for you, choose a more fleshy finger instead.
  • Drink as much water as you can on the day you do the home test kit – try and get at least a litre down yourself and make sure you do the test after a couple of hours of drinking it, so that the water is still in your blood stream when you use the lancets. Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks on the day, as these can make your blood much thicker. If you can't stomach water, drink weak tea or coffee, but again, cut down on the sugar. Hydration is really important.
  • Warm your hands for a few minutes in hot water – it really does help you bleed - try and get the water quite warm but not scalding hot, it should be pleasant and warm your hands in the water for at least 3 - 5 minutes.
  • When you use the lancets press firmly on your skin, they're designed to create a crescent wound that will bleed but not to injure you. They only work once and make a snapping sound like a stapler. That's normal and not a malfunction. Once you hear the snap, release the pressure on the lancet and have your bottle ready to capture the blood.
  • Use the fingers of your other hand to drag tightly down the finger that you've cut, to draw blood towards the finger tip, away from your palm. If your hands are warm, this should help you get the blood into the bottle.
  • If you need to, use all 3 lancets. If one wound dries up or clots then use another finger and another lancet. If you stop bleeding it's easier to make another cut than to try and get more blood out of a closed wound.
  • Once you have filled your blood bottle and put the lid on firmly, shake the bottle a few times to mix the blood with the preservative, to ensure it gets to the lab in a form that can be used for your test. Don't leave your blood bottle on the side for a bit and do this later.
  • There is a white “request slip” in the box. It has your name, date of birth and phone number on it – make sure you put your completed test back in the box and cellotape that request slip on the top and around the box to keep it closed and sealed. If the Lab don’t get your request slip, then they won’t process your kit.
  • Check your phone number is correct on the request slip, to make sure you get a text and let us know if you don’t hear within 7 days (this allows 2 days for postage).
  • Label your sample & check the expiry date of your kit by looking at the box and the blood collection bottle.
  • Screw up the sample bottle tightly (but not too tightly as they're only plastic), to prevent any leakages of the sample in transit.