Lloyds Online Doctor and the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) have announced a partnership to provide home testing kits for common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV. The low-cost confidential testing service complements the existing services offered at IFPA clinics, providing a further option for individuals concerned that they may have contracted an STI. "STI rates in Ireland have risen significantly in recent years, and we lack an adequate framework to respond to the need for testing. Developing innovative ways of facilitating access to STI testing services must be a central priority for Ireland's forthcoming National Sexual Health Strategy."
"Any sexually active person may be exposed to an STI and we would advise them to get tested regularly, especially in light of the high rates of infection recorded among people in their 20s and 30s," said Dr. Tom Brett of Lloyds Online Doctor. "In partnership with the Irish Family Planning Association we have developed a convenient and simple testing kit for chlamydia and gonorrhoea: You complete a short questionnaire to assess whether the online service is right for you. A home test kit will then be sent to your nominated address. Collect your sample at home then post it to our partner laboratory in Dublin. You will then be notified of your results via your confidential online record. The tests are as accurate as any test from a clinic and your results are completely confidential."
The standard sexual health service from Lloyds Online Doctor tests for genital chlamydia and genital gonorrhoea which together account for the majority of sexually transmitted infections in Ireland. As both infections are often asymptomatic, testing is critical if an individual is concerned they may have been exposed. If left untreated, both infections can cause serious health problems. An enhanced test also tests for HIV in addition to chlamydia and gonorrhoea. The standard service costs ¤50 and the enhanced service ¤70 inclusive of postage compared to tests costing upwards of ¤125.
The IFPA and Lloyds Online Doctor stressed that any individual experiencing severe pain from a suspected STI infection should not use the testing service and should instead visit an IFPA clinic without delay. Other common STI infections such as genital warts and genital herpes usually present symptoms such as obvious lesions and should also be treated at an IPFA clinic.
For more information on all services please see www.lloydsonlinedoctor.ie/ or www.ifpa.ie/Sexual-Health-Services/STI-Services/Home-STI-Tests
Current IFPA information on common STIs is available at www.ifpa.ie/Sexual-Health-Services/STI-Services/Common-STIs