In the mid-2000s, the World Health Organization’s STD Diagnostics Initiative published an article that discussed rapid diagnostic testing for sexually transmitted infections.

In the document, which featured in the BMJ medical journal, the case was made for ‘quality-assured rapid tests to help decrease the STI burden worldwide’. The organisation also introduced the ASSURED criteria, assessing the suitability of the diagnostics for disease control needs. These included issues such as: affordability, sensitivity, specificity, user-friendliness, speed and robustness. Over a decade on, the BMJ revisited the article in December last year and recognised that a “lack of reliable, low-cost point-of-care tests (POCTs) was a major barrier to advancing STI control and prevention”. Furthermore, the WHO’s latest STI health sector strategy lists the “validation and standardisation of innovative diagnostic technologies and approaches” as key priorities in addressing this problem.

A POCT is a medical diagnostic test which is performed at the time and place of patient care. The driving notion is to reduce the waiting time for results and allow for more immediate clinical management decisions to be made. According to the BMJ, “POCTs can be catalysts for health systems strengthening globally. The tests also have the potential of expanding targeted STI screening and rapidly linking the infected patients to treatment. This may decrease STI incidence and improve the sexual health and well-being of all people.”

This sentiment is shared by Better2Know, the world’s leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We understand that getting an STI test can be a troubling time; and patients require accurate, confidential testing and results, as quickly as possible. That’s why we offer Instant testing for six STIs at selected clinics nationwide. This bespoke service provides rapid results for harmful infections including HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. With results available in under half an hour, you will receive your results whilst you wait in the clinic. Tests can be conducted individually, or combined with other Instant tests as part of a more comprehensive STI screen. Samples are collected at your appointment by a qualified clinician, with results returned around 20 minutes later.

Should you test positive for Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea following an Instant test, Better2Know will provide you with an immediate prescription for the medication you require. If there is a positive result for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, we will perform confirmatory testing of a venous blood sample for no extra charge. You will also be issued with a signed and completed copy of the Better2Know Rapid Test Results Report. With a network of experienced doctors and specialists situated throughout the UK, we can arrange telephone or face-to-face consultations either before your test or following your results.

To locate your nearest Instant testing facility, or to book your test, call Better2Know today on the telephone number above. A dedicated sexual health advisor will answer your questions and process your appointment. You can also make a booking online by selecting the orange Book Now button at the top of the page.

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