Collecting your sample

Below we clearly outline the process required to take collect a sample and extra measures to ensure the sample taken is of the highest quality.

And, of course, if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Collecting a good quality sample

Before you start

Every kit comes with the items needed to collect a sample for the tests. Since incorrectly collected samples may cause failure to perform the tests and delay resolution, please, read and follow the instructions overleaf carefully.

Our clinicians are also available to guide you through the process, so don’t hesitate to request a callback from us. 

For the quickest results, we recommend you take a sample on the day of posting.

When you start

Please ensure your hands are clean and dry before/after taking a sample.

Collecting a Urine sample

Step-by-step instructions

Please do not urinate for 2 hours before providing a urine sample.

  1. Twist to open the urine bottle.
  2. Fill the urine bottle with the first bit of urine that comes out (approx. 1/2 full).
  3. Twist the urine bottle to close.
  4. Place the urine sample in the grey sealed pouch.

Collecting a Blood sample

Step-by-step Instructions

 

1. Twist the yellow cap of the sample tube to remove.
2. Twist and pull the purple tip of the lancet to remove.
3. Clean your hand and fingertip with an alcohol wipe. Place lancet on fingertip and push the purple top to prick.
4. Massage your finger, filling to 600 line. This usually takes 16 drops. Place a plaster over your fingertip.
5. Push the yellow cap firmly onto the sample tube, and turn upside down 5 times.

Disclaimer

  • An insufficient sample may result in a delay/rejection in processing your blood test (if you have also requested a urine/swab test, these will still be run).
  • Self-taken HIV blood samples have a false positive rate of 5.4% according to BHIVA (the British HIV Association). Thus:
  • In the case of a reactive result, we will require a further blood test (in person) for confirmation (at no extra cost).
  • If you are unable to collect a blood sample, we can either take the sample for you in person or refund the cost of the blood test (we charge a £10 admin fee).

Helpful Tips

We understand that it can be tricky taking a blood sample from your finger. We recommend this service only to those who are unable to visit a clinic in person.

It may help to run your hands under warm water for 60 seconds before taking the sample. Standing up and letting your arms fall to your sides may also help in increasing blood flow.

We also provide three lancets for taking a blood sample, in case you struggle on one finger.

If you have any further questions in taking a sample, please contact the clinic.

Collecting a High Vaginal Swab

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Twist the red top of the vial and pull to reveal the swab. Be careful not to touch the soft tip or lay the swab down.
  2. Insert swab into the vaginal opening and relax your muscles.
  3. Gently slide the swab into the vagina. If the swab does not slide easily, rotate as you push. If it is still difficult, do not continue. Make sure the swab touches the walls of the vagina.
  4. Rotate the swab for 10 -15 seconds.
  5. Withdraw the swab without touching the skin.
  6. Place the tip of the swab into the same tube and press down firmly to seal.

WHERE and HOW should I swab?

Where to swab

2 inches (5 cm) into the vagina and point the tip towards your lower back.

How to swab

Rotate the swab for 10-15 seconds touching the walls of the vagina

Collecting a Throat Swab

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Twist the red top of the vial and pull to reveal the swab.
  2. Brush the swab repeatedly at the back of the throat over posterior pharynx and tonsillar areas, avoiding the tongue – you may gag a little.
  3. Place the tip of the swab into the same tube and press down firmly to seal.

WHERE and HOW should I swab?

Where to swab

Back of the throat and tonsils, avoiding the tongue.

How to swab

In a zig-zag motion across the area, for 10-15 seconds.

Collecting a Rectal Swab

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Twist the red top of the vial and pull to reveal the swab.
  2. Insert approximately 1 inch (3cm) into the anal canal
  3. Move the swab from side to side in the anal canal
  4. Allow the swab to remain for 10-30 seconds for the absorption of organisms onto the swab.
  5. Place the tip of the swab into the same tube and press down firmly to seal.

WHERE and HOW should I swab?

Where and How to Swab

Approximately 1 inch (3 cm) into the anal canal.

Twist or move swab from side to side inside the anal canal.

Returning your sample

Posting the sample 

  • Place your samples back inside the grey plastic sleeve.
  • Write the date the sample was taken on the sample request form and place the form in the same grey plastic sleeve.
  • Seal the grey plastic pouch and place inside the pre-paid envelope.
  • Place the envelope in any Royal Mail Post Box.

Getting your results

  • Your results will be with you in 3 working days (Saturday and Sunday not included) of the lab receiving your sample (there may be delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • These results will be emailed to you at the email address provided at the time of order.
  • If you have any questions in the meantime, please let us know.