Online medical service DrThom has teamed up with HIV and sexual health charity, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) to offer a range of sexual health tests and treatments by post (www.thtbypost.org.uk). THT by Post aims to make it easier for people to get tested and treated and is designed for anyone who is unable or reluctant to attend a sexual health clinic.
THT by Post is a paid for service which offers testing and treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhoea, testing for HIV and treatment for genital herpes and non-specific urethritis (NSU). The service also offers a free online consultation to assess a man’s suitability for impotence treatment and follow-up postal impotence treatment if appropriate. Emergency contraception in advance of need is also available. All the online treatment services let a patient get the treatment they need without meeting a doctor face-to-face.
The tests involve taking either a saliva or urine sample at home and posting it off to a lab to be analysed. The results are given differently depending on the test but most are uploaded to a private, password protected web page, often within two days of the sample arriving at the lab. Those who receive a positive result for chlamydia and gonorrhoea will be sent free antibiotic treatment through the post and can receive medical aftercare from DrThom.
The HIV test can either show a negative or an unclear result. The unclear result will not automatically mean that someone has HIV, but indicates that a full blood test is needed to check. Those with an unclear result will speak to an advisor who can tell them where to go for a follow up blood test.
Peta Wilkinson, Executive Director of Services at Terrence Higgins Trust said “Some people find going to a sexual health clinic inconvenient or embarrassing so we wanted to make it easier for those people to test. This new service is easy and quick to use. We hope that by offering the choice of tests and treatment that you can use at home, we’ll be able to bring down the number of people with undiagnosed infections.”
These services may be particularly useful for people living in rural areas who find it hard to access GUM services.
Anyone who wants to speak to someone about their diagnosis can call THT Direct for information or support. The tests, treatment and other sexual health services can be ordered online from http://www.thtbypost.org.uk