About this service

Why do I need to do this?

We know that people born or who lived abroad may be at higher risk of medical conditions but routine tests are not always done.

This website offers you the ability to test for some of these conditions either by having a blood test arranged by your doctor or to have a home testing ‘finger prick’ kit sent to you.

It is important to be tested for these conditions as you may need treatment. Often, the earlier a condition is detected, the better it is for your health.

Testing options

You can choose between:

  • a blood test through your local clinic (your GP surgery), or
  • a home testing kit

What is the difference?

More tests can be performed by having a full blood test so you will be tested for more conditions in you attend in person.

The home test uses a finger prick and only tests for HIV and hepatitis.

What tests are included?

The home testing kit tests for HIV, hepatitis B and C.

The blood tests can screen for diabetes, HIV, TB, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia, rubella immunity and high cholesterol.

What do I need to do…

…if I want a blood test at the clinic?

After completing on the online form, collect your blood test request form from your GP Surgery after two working days. You may be able to have your test there, or choose somewhere else local. Please ring the GP surgery for the results in two weeks time.

Depending on your GP surgery, you can have blood tests done there, at a local clinic or at a nearby hospital. Instructions will be given to you with your blood test request form to explain where you can go.

You need to ring the GP surgery two weeks after having your blood tests for the results.


…if I want a home testing kit?

If you decide to have a home testing kit, it will be sent to your home by post. You need to do a blood sample using a finger prick similar to when diabetic patients check their sugar levels. You then need to send the completed kit back in the post. You will hear from the results via text message (SMS) and your doctor (GP) will be notified also.

How do I get the results?

If you had your blood tests through your local clinic (GP surgery), you need to ring them 2 weeks after having your blood tests for the results.

If you have opted for a home test, the results will be texted to you. Your doctor (GP) will also be notified of the results.

What if the test is positive?

Your GP or one of the nurse team will be able to discuss all results with you and what this means for you and your health. This may be on the phone or in an appointment.

Depending on the condition, further tests, treatment or a referral to a hospital doctor may be needed. Your GP will explain this to you.

Positive results may at first be worrying, but testing early is essential to help you get the right healthcare and treatment.

Will the GP get my results?

Your GP surgery will be informed of all your results.

The tests we run

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus which infects and damages the liver. It is often a mild illness, but it can become a serious life-long disease unless you take treatment. By testing for Hepatitis B, we can monitor and, if needed, treat the condition to protect your liver.

More information about hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver. It is often a mild illness, but it can sometimes cause serious liver damage unless you take treatment. By testing for Hepatitis C we can monitor and, if needed, treat the condition to protect your liver.

More information about hepatitis C.

Rubella immunity

Rubella (German measles) is a viral illness that usually gets better without treatment. However if you are infected while you are pregnant, it can seriously harm the baby or cause miscarriages.

This test looks to see if your body is already protected against the rubella virus. If your body is not protected, you will be offer two vaccinations.

More about rubella immunisation.

Tuberculosis (TB)

This test checks if you have latent TB, where the TB bacteria are ‘asleep’ in your body. Although you are not ill at the moment, the TB bacteria can still make you unwell in the future. TB is a serious condition but we can treat the latent TB to stop this happening.

More information about latent TB.

HIV

HIV is a virus infection that, over time, reduces your body ability to fight diseases. HIV is treatable and many people living with HIV live long and healthy lives. Most people do not have symptoms and may be unaware of having the infection - so it is important that you get tested. If people are not tested and treated, HIV can progress to AIDS, a life-threatening condition.

More information about HIV.

Haemoglobinopathy testing for sickle cell and thalassaemia

Haemoglobinopathy testing identifies people who are carry a gene for haemoglobin disorders like sickle cell and thalassemia.

Carriers are healthy but there is a chance that you can pass the gene to your children so they become carriers too. If your partner is also a carrier, your child could develop a serious condition such as sickle cell anaemia or thalassemia.

This can be prevented so it's important that you and your partner both get tested.

More information about sickle cell and thalassaemia screening.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar levels become too high.

If your blood test shows that you have or are at high risk of diabetes, this can be treated through diet, exercise and weight control. These measures can stop high risk people getting diabetes. If the blood sugar level remains high, you may need medication to keep you healthy and prevent the complications of diabetes.

More information about diabetes.

High cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. We all need some cholesterol, but too much, especially if you smoke or are overweight, can cause damage and lead to serious conditions like a heart attack or a stroke.

By checking your cholesterol and your risk of these conditions, we can give advice and sometimes medication to reduce your risk.

More information about cholesterol.

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© Copyright 2019 Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg. no. 288527), company reg. no. 1778149 and a registered charity in Scotland (reg. no. SC039986).

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Last reviewed: 21/12/2016
Next review: 21/12/2019