Postal Testing - FAQs

How does postal testing work?

If you are living in North Yorkshire or York and are aged over 16 you can order your test online and choose from the following options:

  • Chlamydia only for 16-24 year olds
  • Standard STI screening for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis for all ages

Complete your order form and choose how you want to receive your results. Test kits will be posted to you within 24 hours. Kits are small, discreet and will fit through your letterbox. Follow the instructions included with the kit and post back (free of charge).

What do the tests involve?

Gonorrhoea and chlamydia tests are quick and easy to do – just a urine sample for men or for women a self-taken vaginal swab. The postal tests won't test for chlamydia or gonorrhoea in the throat or rectum (bum)*.

HIV and syphilis testing will require you to collect a small 'finger-prick' blood sample:

*If you're concerned about other infections, our sexual health clinics will be able to help.

How do I get my results?

Your results will be available via your chosen method of delivery. If your test shows an infection or needs repeating then you’ll be asked to contact YorSexualHealth.

Your results will only be viewed by your local NHS YorSexualHealth service.

What if I need treatment or further tests?

One of our YorSexualHealth nurses will talk with you about your results.

If your HIV, syphilis or gonorrhoea test shows an infection you will be asked to attend a clinic for further tests and appropriate treatment.

If your chlamydia test shows an infection the nurse may be able to post treatment to you after a telephone consultation.

All treatments provided through YorSexualHealth are free of charge.     

What if I am under 16?

Postal tests are not available if you are under 16 but you can attend one of our clinics for free and confidential testing.  

What if I am pregnant?

Antenatal screening tests usually include HIV and syphilis testing, but not chlamydia and gonorrhoea. If you are under 25 you may have been offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. Your midwife/doctor can tell you what tests you have had if you’re unsure.

If you are pregnant and concerned about STIs please call YorSexualHealth on 01904 721111 or attend one of our clinics for testing and advice.

What if I have symptoms?

Click on the following links to read the symptoms for the STIs we provide postal kits for: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, syphillis.

If you have any symptoms we recommend that you attend one of our clinics. Our online tests do not look for all STIs and different tests may be needed.

What if I have had sex with a person who has a STI?

If you believe that you have had sex with someone recently who has gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis or HIV you may be advised to have treatment straight away, without waiting for your own test result. Visit one of our clinics or call our booking line on 01904 721111 to talk with a nurse or a doctor

When should I have a test?

People often refer to ‘window periods’ when testing for STIs. This means the length of time it takes from catching an infection to it showing up on a laboratory test - see chart below. If you are in any doubt about when to test, you should do one test now and another at a later date.

FINAL STI testing windows NEW with HIV

A negative result on a test performed 4 weeks after possible exposure to the virus is highly likely to exclude HIV infection. A further test at 8 weeks after possible exposure only needs to be considered if there has been a significantly high risk of infection.

Should my partner test too?

Yes! Your test results will not tell you whether or not your partner has an infection. Sometimes STIs and HIV can be very easily passed on, but it is possible for one person to test ‘negative’ for an infection whilst their partner tests ‘positive’.

Testing together is a good way of knowing whether either of you has any hidden infections.