Get STI tested at home – HSE launch free testing service

On the 4th of October the Health Service Executive announced the launch of a free national online service which provides people with the option to test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at home.

This scheme was piloted in Dublin, Cork, and Kerry in 2021, and has now been expanded nationwide service. 

Individuals aged 17 and older who are living in Ireland can order their free STI test kids via the online platform Users can complete the test at home and post the sample to a laboratory in the provided prepaid envelope. The result will then be shared with the person via text or phone. 

“We welcome the introduction of the free national home STI testing service which increases access to screening for anyone worried they have an STI. It is important to realise that some STIs can cause serious health problems if left undiagnosed, but that early detection and treatment can greatly reduce this risk”, said Dr. Éadaoin Lysaght, who is the director of the Student Health Service. 

Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich, UCDSU Welfare Officer, when asked for comment on the service’s expansion, said “Sexual health is a really important issue for college students, particularly with the lack of adequate sexual education in Irish schools. The STI home testing service is a fantastic way of breaking down stigma around STI testing and breaking down barriers to access to testing.” 

The UCD student health service recommends that anyone with symptoms of an active infection seeks early testing and that all partners of affected patients should seek STI screening even if they are asymptomatic. To ensure a successful treatment, it is important to detect an STI as early as possible. 

Individuals who don’t want to test themselves at home can still get tested on campus, as the UCD student health service will continue to offer screening and treatment of STI infections.