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HIV Test

HIV Detection and Antibody Testing

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that targets the immune system, weakening the natural defences of the body and making it more prone to viral infections.

We have different testing options available depending on which HIV test makes the most sense for you. Some tests give results immediately (our instant HIV test gives results for antibodies in 60 seconds), while others take longer, and some tests are more appropriate in the case of recent possible exposure.

The HIV tests we offer are:

  • Instant HIV test HIV antibody and P24 antigen
  • Multiplex (HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C) early detection

For all of these, the test is a simple, relatively painless, blood test, using a small amount of blood. You may feel a slight pricking sensation when the sample is taken. To prepare for this test, please ensure that you arrive well-hydrated. The doctor will call you with your results as soon as they are ready. If necessary, a repeat visit, test or prescription will be arranged.

 

Our Harley Street walk-in clinic, located near Regent’s Street, Baker Street, Oxford Circus and Bond Street, offers HIV testing in a sensitive, professional and discreet environment.

We have a team of caring, experienced doctors and counsellor available on-site.

The cost of your test includes a short consultation, and any necessary prescriptions and a doctor will call you to go over your results.

We work with a leading laboratory to ensure excellence in testing and exceptionally fast turnaround times of 4-12 hours.

Causes

The HIV virus is not spread through the air or through basic physical contact, unlike colds or flu. It is much harder to transmit HIV from one person to another. You can catch HIV from an infected person if certain of their body fluids get into your bloodstream. HIV is not transmitted through saliva, sweat, or urine.

The most common way to catch HIV is through unprotected sex (having sex without a condom). It is also spread by sharing needles or other injecting equipment with someone who is infected. It is also possible for an HIV-positive mother to pass the virus to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. The virus is passed on through body fluids, but not through sweat, urine, or saliva. The only risk of transmitting HIV through kissing is if both partners have mouth sores or bleeding gums. This means that sneezes, coughs, sharing bath towels or cutlery, public toilets, swimming pools, or skin-to-skin contact (on healthy, unbroken skin) will not lead to HIV transmission.

The body fluids that are capable of transmitting the infection are:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Menstrual blood
  • Breast milk
  • Fluids found in the lining of the anus

Some of the routes through which the HIV virus can infect the blood include:

  • The bloodstream (through contaminated needles or other equipment)
  • Through the lining inside the anus and genitals
  • Through the lining inside the mouth and eyes
  • Through cuts and sores”

What to do next

An HIV test is the only way to know for sure whether you are infected with the virus. It is important to speak to a doctor as soon as you think you may have been exposed, so that you can get tested. The kind of test you will take depends on the time that has passed since potential exposure to the virus, and involves giving a sample of your blood, which will be checked for signs of infection. Our doctors can advise you on how best to proceed. Give us a call and make your appointment today.

  • 02073231023Harley St Area
  • 02071010355City of London

FAQ

I am concerned that I have been exposed to the HIV virus. What should I do next?

It is important to speak to a doctor as soon as you think you may have been exposed so that you can get tested, as an HIV test is the only way to know for sure whether you are infected with the virus. Give us a call and make your appointment today.

What are the symptoms of HIV?

Seroconversion illness, which happens soon after exposure when your body is fighting the virus, typically lasts around 1–2 weeks. The most common symptoms of this are fever, sore throat, skin rash, accompanied by fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and swollen glands. These are common symptoms for many common conditions, however, and are not a sure sign that you have contracted the virus. An infected person can be asymptomatic (showing no symptoms at all) for many years.

Will I need repeat tests?

Our early HIV detection test can give immediate peace of mind, but the doctor will normally recommend repeating with an HIV antibody test later on to be completed.

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Please note that Walk In Clinic is a private medical centre and not an NHS service.

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