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Why should I be tested?
- HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis are infections carried in the blood.
- Many people with these infections don’t have symptoms and are unaware they are carrying them. Knowing whether you do or don’t have these infections means you can protect yourself and others.
How could these infections affect my health?
- Late diagnosis of HIV reduces life expectancy by around 15 years and causes significant ill-health.
- Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver damage (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.
- Syphilis is a serious infection which can affect many body systems and can be passed on to a baby during pregnancy
If I have these infections, could I pass them on to others?
- It is possible to pass these infections to others through sex, or contact with infected blood, (for example sharing needles)
- Taking treatment regularly stops the risk of passing the viruses onto others
Is there treatment for people with these infections?
- HIV and hepatitis B can be managed with daily tablets. If diagnosed early enough, people with HIV or hepatitis B can live a long and healthy life
- Hepatitis C and syphilis can be cured with a short course of medicines
How would I know if I have any of these infections?
- The only way to know is to get a specific blood test, which is not usually included in blood tests done by your GP.
How will I get the results of my blood test?
- If you have a ‘reactive result’ (provisional positive), we will contact you to make and appointment to discuss next steps.
- If you do not hear from us in 28 days, you can assume your tests for HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis were negative. Please note that sometimes it is not possible for all samples to be tested in the laboratory: while we will try to test all blood samples, we cannot guarantee that yours will have been tested.
- If you have any queries, or would like to know whether your sample has been tested, please contact us using the details below.
The ‘window period’
- The window period is the time it takes from being infected until the infection shows up on your blood test.
- It can take six to 12 weeks for HIV, hepatitis B or syphilis to show up on your blood test.
- It can take up to six months for hepatitis C to show up on your blood test.
- If you have been at recent risk of these infections, you can contact your GP or local sexual health service for a follow-up test.