At the end of March, the UCDSU announced that at-home self-testing STI kits would be available for all students.
The service provider, SH:24 assures that the service is completely discrete and that any order that comes through them will be processed privately and free of charge. At present, the service is available to any student currently residing in Dublin, Kerry or Cork, with a minimum of 200 home test kits being available each day. The service comes as part of a new pilot project, which aims to assess how online services can help support people’s sexual health. The service will be in place for 6 weeks, ending on Sunday the 9th of May, after which it will be evaluated.
UCDSU released the announcement via Twitter on the 26th of March; “HSE Home Testing STI kits are coming back. From next Monday the 29th, you can order your home STI test kit from SH24.ie”. UCDSU has credited the Social Democrats Co-Leader, Roisin Shortall, for her involvement in introducing the service.
On-campus medical consultations have been unavailable since the 24th of December 2020, and are currently unavailable due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. STI testing also falls into this bracket. At present, UCD health services offer an online phone consultation with a doctor or nurse. These consultations are limited and appointments must be booked in advance.
SH:24's home testing kits are available to order after an online assessment is completed to determine what kit you will need. The kit will be supplied in a plain, letterbox-friendly package and will include a return envelope to enclose your completed test in. The home-testing kits will be available for the following conditions; chlamydia, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis and HIV.
While students are not encouraged to engage in sexual activities whilst in the midst of a global pandemic, this service is being promoted by UCDSU to ensure that if a student makes that decision, they will have access to free, safe and discrete resources to aid their sexual health
To find out more about the service provided by SH:24 you can visit their website at sh24.ie