What do my results mean?

There are a range of results that service users can receive. The SHL.UK team are available to discuss results by phone and support you getting treatment or having further testing. If you don’t feel comfortable receiving results in this way it is more appropriate for you to be screened for STIs in a sexual health clinic where you can return and have a face to face discussion about your results.

  • Negative means the infection was not identified.
  • Positive means the infection was identified. The SHL.UK team will advise you how to get treatment. This may be via our remote treatment service or by attending a sexual health clinic. Gonorrhoea and syphilis must be treated in a sexual health clinic. The SHL.UK team can help you be seen in the sexual health clinic if you are having difficulty attending for treatment. Most individuals with Chlamydia can access treatment via our remote treatment service, however some service users may need to go to clinic – these include: You need investigation/treatment for other infections e.g. gonorrhoea or syphilis; You have developed symptoms that suggest you have developed complications and therefore need more investigations and/or a different and / or longer treatment course; Lloyds pharmacy online doctor, our treatment partner, have identified another reason and they will advise you accordingly.
  • Reactive usually applies to the blood tests (HIV or hepatitis B or C) and means the initial screening test was positive and you need further testing. On further testing a certain proportion of individuals will test negative for the infection whereas others may test positive indicating you have the infection. Because we only are able to work with small volumes of blood the service is limited in terms of what confirmatory tests we can perform – for this reason we encourage you to attend the sexual health clinic for confirmatory tests. Should you subsequently test positive at the sexual health clinic they can rapidly refer you to the appropriate service for ongoing care and treatment e.g. hepatitis clinic or HIV outpatient service. Depending on the level of reactivity of the initial screening test, the SHL.uk team can advise you of the likely / anticipated confirmatory result. In some cases, e.g. those with low reactivity on initial screening, we can offer you another kit to perform the tests again if you prefer. The team can also help you be seen in the sexual health clinic if you are having difficulty attending for confirmatory blood tests.
  • Inconclusive/Equivocal means the result is not clear cut and further testing is advised. In these situations, you can contact SHL.UK for a new kit or attend a sexual health clinic.
  • Haemolysed means that the blood sample has clotted whilst in transit and was unable to be tested. In this situation you can contact SHL.UK for a new kit or attend a sexual health clinic. If you want another kit, please read the helpful tips on taking your blood sample before trying again.
  • Insufficient usually applies to the blood tests and means there was not enough of a sample provided. In this situation you can contact SHL.UK for a new kit or attend a sexual health clinic. If you want another kit, please read the helpful tips on taking your blood sample before trying again.
  • Out of protocol or Out of validation results refer to a number of problems that mean we cannot provide a result for you: samples lost or damaged or not collected properly; too much time had lapsed between the sample collection date and when they were received in the lab; another laboratory problem.

If you ever feel confused or the information available to you is unclear you can contact the SHL.UK team and they will happily go through this with you.

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Sexual Health London offers a free STI testing across most of London.
Simply register with SHL.UK and complete an online consultation to order your free STI test kit.