HIV Test London
SameDayDoctor offers specialist and expert same-day HIV testing across all of our clinics in London & Manchester to provide you safe, reliable and discreet testing services for peace of mind. With our specialist team of GPs & nurses having access to the latest technology, we are able to provide instant or same day/next day test results or early detection testing from 10 days after contact.
The most suitable test for you depends on how long ago the potential exposure was and we can carry out several different types of testing depending on your situation. For sexual exposure more than 90 days previously an instant HIV test can produce reliable results within a minute. Sexual exposure between 28 and 90 days can be tested with same-day results using the DUO test which looks for HIV 1 and 2 antibodies as well as the P24 antigen. For patients who have had a potentially risky contact between 10 and 28 days, there is a reliable early detection test which gives same-day results.
|HIV Test table Time from exposure||12 weeks or more||28 days or more||10 days or more|
|Test||INSTI||HDUO||RNA early detection
|Sample||A drop of blood from a finger prick||Blood test||Blood test|
|Time to results||1 minute||Same or next day||Same or next day|
|Further information||HIV 1&2 Antibodies||HIV 1&2 antibodies & P24 antigen||‘PCR’ test for HIV|
All SameDayDoctor clinics can offer confidential fast access to all three testing options with fast results which can be given in person, by phone or via email. Same-day HIV testing is available across our private GP clinics in London & Manchester. If you are concerned about HIV then book an appointment today or walk-in to any of our clinics for a private GP appointment.
What is HIV?
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks and damages the body’s immune system. It takes over your cells and uses them to make copies of itself, then destroys the cells. If left unchecked, it may lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
There is no cure for HIV at the present time, but there are very effective drugs that enable HIV positive people to live long and healthy lives without ever developing AIDS. HIV can be transmitted from person to person however, HIV positive people on effective treatment are not infectious and Can’t Pass It On. AIDS may occur if a person’s immune system has been badly damaged by the virus and can be caused by a number of life-threatening illnesses or infections. AIDS cannot be transmitted from person to person.
HIV risks: If you want to find out more about your HIV or AIDS risk, are feeling anxious about HIV, or just want to talk to someone then either visit one of our clinics or arrange a phone/email consultation with one of our GPs or specialist HIV nurses. Read our guide to sexual infections & STDs.
HIV positive result: If your HIV test is positive our experienced doctors and nurses are on hand to help with your diagnosis. We are able to facilitate the transfer of care to the NHS or arrange for further testing. We can offer long term management and HIV health monitoring if required.
How is HIV Transmitted?
HIV is transmitted from person to person through the exchange of bodily fluids: blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, and rectal fluid. The most common ways it is transmitted are:
- Vaginal, anal or oral sex-particularly receiving anal sex
- Sharing needles and other drug preparation equipment
- Getting blood into eyes, ears, nose or throat
- Passed from mother to child during pregnancy, when she is giving birth, or when breastfeeding
It cannot be transmitted through kissing, hugging, shaking hands, sharing food, mosquito bites, or any form of non-sexual physical contact.
Symptoms of HIV
Shortly after becoming infected, people may experience a short illness for a week or two, which is a sign the virus is having an effect on their immune system. This is known as a seroconversion illness. It can be very mild, making people think they’ve had a small bout of flu, or severe enough to hospitalise people. Common symptoms of seroconversion include a sore throat, fever, and/or rash. It could be many more years before other symptoms become noticeable enough to seek medical attention.
If HIV is undetected and untreated, the virus will attack a person’s immune system and their CD4 count will drop – CD4 cells are the white blood cells (sometimes known as T cells) that are important to the immune system. A damaged immune system will leave a person more susceptible to infections and diseases. The most common symptoms of later HIV infection are weight loss, night sweats, oral thrush, swollen glands in the neck, armpit or groin areas, diarrhoea, joint pain, nausea, herpes or cold sore outbreaks and fatigue. These symptoms can also be indicative of other illnesses.
You can take measures to help reduce the risk of being infected by HIV with the following guidelines we suggest to patients:
- Ask questions – talk to your sexual partner to find out if they are HIV positive, or if they have been tested for HIV and other STIs
- Use condoms
- Use lubrication – lubrication will help prevent tears in the anal and vaginal walls, as well as reducing the risk of the condom breaking
- Do not share needles
- PEP – if you think you may have been exposed to the risk of infection, ask your GP for a course of post-exposure prophylaxis treatment within 72 hours.
If a person seeks treatment up to 72 hours after possible exposure to the infection, there is a treatment that could stop the infection even after the virus has entered the body. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a four-week course of daily drugs which has proved successful. To increase the chances of the treatment working, it should be started within 24 hours, but has been effective up to 72 hours after exposure. The drugs must be taken as directed and could have side effects, though these are usually quite mild: fatigue, headaches and nausea.
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)
Scientists are working hard to find a vaccine, but to date have been unable to develop one. However, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs have been shown to reduce the risk of infection by up to 86% for high-risk individuals.
SameDayDoctor’s London city clinic can offer treatment for patients by appointment which includes monitoring of HIV positive patients both on and off medication. We can look after the health needs of those living with HIV in one place, caring for their general health, screening for other infections and managing the virus.
Our specific treatment services available at our private GP clinics include:
- Consultation with specialists in HIV Medicine
- CD4 count/viral load measurements
- HIV resistance testing
- Cardiovascular risk assessments
- Antiretroviral medication including access to approved medication which may not yet be available on the NHS
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Health monitoring
HIV Testing FAQs
When should I get tested for HIV?
You should test for HIV after a medium to high-risk exposure either through sexual contact or the use of needles. Some countries require HIV testing for Visa purposes or pre-employment medicals.
How soon can HIV be detected by a blood test?
We can do an early detection HIV test 10 days after contact. The standard HIV test can also be done after 28 days. We can also do an instant HIV test 90 days after contact.
How can I get HIV testing?
You can walk-in or make an appointment by phone or email for any of our London or Manchester clinics and you will be seen by a clinician who will do the HIV test straight away.
What types of HIV Testing is there?
The early detection PCR test is done after 10 days and tests for HIV-1. The HDUO test is done 28 days after contact and test for HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies and the P 24 antigen. The instant HIV test which can be done after 90 days tests for HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies and the results are in one minute.
Why is HIV testing important?
HIV can be managed with medication and the testing is also important to prevent HIV being passed to other people. HIV often has no symptoms so testing is the only way to be sure of your HIV status.
Where can I get tested?
What if my results come back positive?
We have specialists on hand who are experienced in treating HIV positive patients. We also refer patients into the NHS for ongoing treatment if you prefer.
How can I prevent being infected?
HIV infection can be avoided by practising safe sex including the use of condoms. Drug users should avoid sharing needles and healthcare workers should take additional precautions and wear gloves. High-risk gay men can use pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) which we can also discuss with you.
How long will it take to get my results?
The instant HIV test results are back in one minute. The other results are back on the same day if you attend in the morning and in the evening or early the next morning if you attend in the afternoon.
What does the test involve?
HIV testing involves a fingertip prick test for the instant HIV test and a full blood test for the other HIV tests.