Help with your SH.UK testing kit?

Need help with your SH.UK testing kit?

My kit has not arrived

Our test kits are sent by Royal Mail first class post. Most test kits arrive within 1-3 working days, however there are sometimes delays.

If more than 7-10 working days have passed and your kit has not arrived, please Contact Us.

When your kit arrives

Take a few minutes to look through the contents and read the guidance sheet.

Collecting your samples shouldn’t take too long and we are here if you need support.

When should I take my samples?

It’s best to take your samples and post them Sunday-Thursday, because they will reach our lab and be tested more quickly.

It takes some time from catching an infection before it shows up on a test, this is called a window period.

The window periods we recommend are: 

  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea: 2 weeks after last exposure 
  • HIV: 8 weeks after last exposure 
  • Syphilis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C: 3 months after last exposure 

If there is a chance you have been exposed to an STI it can still be worth taking a test during the window period. That way, if you do test positive, you can begin treatment straight away. But if you test negative, please do another test at the end of the window period. 

Need help taking your samples?

Get support taking your samples, using our Self-Sampling guidance pages.

Find more help in our Service FAQs.

Once your samples are done, put them into the box, seal it carefully and pop it in any post box.

Struggling to take a blood sample

Check out our top tips on collecting blood.

Ask for support from our excellent team: Contact Us. We can send you our new lancets and offer tips and advice.

If you can’t manage to get enough blood, don’t worry, just return any other samples in the box. Please make sure you visit a sexual health clinic to have your blood test taken.

What happens next?

When your kit arrives at our lab, we will let you know. We will test your samples and let you know your results within just a few days.

Once you have sent your kit back to us, you can login to My Account anytime to check on the status of your test kit.

Your results

How will I receive my test results?

Most people will get a message to login and check their results. However, in some cases an NHS clinician will call to discuss your test results and treatment.

To learn more about the different results, please go our page: What do my results mean?

How accurate are the results?

Our tests are highly accurate when done at the right time.

Although no STI test is 100% accurate, we use the gold standard for testing. All tests are processed in-house, as we run the UK’s leading STI laboratory, which also deals with thousands of STI tests every day for the NHS and local sexual health services.

You can help to make your test as accurate as possible by following the instructions carefully when taking your samples. 

A test result that shows a possible infection is called 'reactive'. For HIV testing, a 'reactive' test will require further investigation to confirm the result. False reactive results are rare but do happen.

Still need help?

See our FAQ pages or Contact Us.


SH.UK offers a range of free sexual health service such as STI testing, treatment and contraception across the UK. Simply register then complete an online consultation to order your free STI test kit.

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