You should get an HIV test if you think you have exposed yourself to risk – for example, if you have had sex without a condom with someone whose HIV status you do not know, or if you have shared injecting needles or drug equipment. If you are a sexually active gay or bisexual man, it is recommended to have an HIV test at least once a year, and more regularly if you have unprotected anal sex with new or casual partners. HIV tests are also recommended as part of a routine sexual health check up. If you have recently had sex without a condom, and you experience severe flu-like symptoms (sore throat and fever) plus a rash on the chest, these could be symptoms of recent HIV infection and you should get tested as soon as possible.
In Bristol, you can get free HIV tests at the Sexual Health Clinic or through your GP.
The first HIV home-testing kits are now available to buy online. However, we would always recommend you get a free test conducted by a health care professional. They will be able to talk you through the process and offer you support.