Home HIV tests ‘should be legalised’

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Almost two-thirds of people would consider using HIV home testing kits if they were legally available and regulated in the UK, a survey has found.

According to the research by Terrence Higgins Trust, 63 per cent of the 657 people surveyed would consider using home HIV tests and 51 per cent thought that this would make them test more often.

Sixty per cent of gay men, who are one of the groups most at risk of HIV, said they would test more regularly for HIV if home tests were permitted.

Of those living with HIV, 35 per cent believe they would have been diagnosed sooner if home tests were legal.

Home HIV tests are currently illegal in the UK. Although they can be bought online, HIV experts say they are often unreliable and do not tell users how to get more help.

Terrence Higgins Trust is urging the government to make the tests legal.

In August, a major House of Lords reports on HIV and AIDS said that keeping the ban was “unsustainable”.

Lisa Power, policy director at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “This research shows a clear bedrock of support for the legalisation of HIV home testing kits, particularly among gay men.

“We know some people will always be reluctant to visit traditional clinics; this legislation would give them the option to test for HIV in their own home.

“We urge the government to repeal the ban and ensure HIV home testing kits are properly regulated in the UK.”