This spring Superdrug announces its plans to offer a drop-in HIV testing service in six stores. The service, which is being run in the store’s Nurse Clinics run by registered nurses, will be available in stores in Brighton, Edinburgh, Croydon, Cardiff, Newcastle and Manchester launching this week.

This is the first time a high street retailer has offered walk in HIV tests. At present those worried about their HIV status would either have to visit a private medical clinic, their local GUM (Genitourinary Medicine) clinic or at health centres in their local community.

The test offered is the ‘InstiTest’ which uses a fingertip blood sample. The test gives an indication of a result and the patient will require confirmation of a positive reaction by a venous blood sample at their local GUM clinic with an HIV specialist. The test offered by Superdrug is 99.96 percent accurate.

Before the test the nurse and patient will discuss the process and the nurse will establish informed consent for the test. The registered nurses have been given specific training in the use of the HIV test kit and further training on patient assessment, consultation guidelines and testing protocol, the nurses also have experience in counseling in sexual health.

Using their existing relationships with their lcoal NHS clinics nurses will, in the case of a positive reaction, recommend an urgent follow up blood test at the local GUM clinic and, with their consent, will amke this initial appointment with the clinic on behalf of the patient.

All testing in confidential and if a patient requires written confirmation of results then their identity will be confirmed with photo ID; identification is not required just to take a test and gain a verbal result, though a patient’s name and birth date will be asked for.

Martain Crisp, Superdrug’s Superintendent pharmacist, said: Our nurse clinics are high street health hubs offering advice and tests on common health problems from weight management and travel innoculations to mole checks.

“Although HIV remains rare it is something that our customers worry about. This simple test can give a clear indication of the virus and out nurses can give those worried about HIV the advice and information they need to stay healthy.

Superdrug is linking with CITYDoc to provide up to date testing and training information to offer the HIV testing service.