- 04 Oct 22
The new service is available to any person aged 17 or older and is completely free of charge.
The Irish Health Service Executive has announced the launch of a free home testing service for sexually transmitted infections (STI) for ages 17 and above, across the country.
These free home test kits will be available to order online.
You will complete the test at home and post the samples to the laboratory in a pre-paid envelope provided. Users will then receive results via text or phone. Those who require further testing will then be referred to STI clinics.
The HSE have advised that their new service is most suitable for people 17 or over who don't have symptoms of an STI. The organisation has urged those who do have symptoms to attend an STI clinic or go to their GP for an assessment.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has welcomed this new service, citing the home testing initiative as one of the most important innovations in sexual health services for years.
"This service has already been the subject of a very successful pilot project, initially funded by the Sláintecare Integration Fund and developed by the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme (HSCPP), which in its first five months, saw over 13,000 home testing kits being delivered," the Minister said.
Since the conclusion of the HSE pilot programme, serious work has been done to ensure this service spread nationwide, with another €550,000 of funding announced in the recent Budget.
Professor Fiona Lyons, consultant in genitourinary and HIV medicine at St James’s Hospital, Trinity College Dublin Professor, and expert in HIV infection in women and in pregnancy, STI service delivery and HIV prevention, has said she is delighted a free service is now available across the country.
"It is an important step towards increasing STI testing access and capacity. It offers greater choice to individuals, promotes self-care and overcomes many barriers to STI testing. Integrating the service with public STI clinics ensures that where necessary individuals have a seamless pathway to additional care," Lyons added.
The HSE is supporting the new launch with a digital, social and outdoor campaign to promote the service.
For more information about the service, click here.