HIV tests are available to purchase on the UK high street for the first time as health and beauty retailer Superdrug will now sell the BioSURE tests in its pharmacies.
The self-testing kit retails for £33.99 and has been available online since 2015. It was the first legally approved test to go on sale in England, Wales and Scotland.
The test requires a small amount of blood taken with a finger prick sample to detect the presence of HIV antibodies. Results are provided in 15 minutes, rather than the usual 72 hour wait.
A HIV and sexual health charity predicts that there are an estimated 10,400 people living in the UK who do not know they have the virus.
Dr Pixie McKenna, GP and Superdrug’s health expert, said: “Superdrug’s move to encourage and empower patients to self-test for HIV is one further step forward in our fight against this disease. While there is no cure, early diagnosis is key in terms of management.
“Patients successfully managed on HIV treatments have normal life expectancy, but to know you need treatment you need to know your diagnosis.”