Each month, 10,000 Free Home STI kits Ordered

Free Home STI kits

Irish homes are ordering 10,000 free home test kits for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) each month, according to the minister in charge of public health.

By the end of November, 2023, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had received over 100,000 orders, compared to 91,000 in 2022, according to Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing, and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton.

STI testing can be done discreetly at home using this service for those who are 17 years of age and older.

Reactive results, which show a need for more testing or care, are sent to public STI clinics that are included in the program.

There have been fewer referrals to clinics for treatment since persons who test positive for chlamydia can now choose to obtain an online prescription. This has been the case since November.

According to the Department of Health, the home service has made testing more accessible by eliminating possible obstacles including humiliation, the expense, and the time required to drive to and attend an in-person session.

The service is reaching important demographic groups and people who might not attend in-person services, which could have resulted in serious morbidity and contributed to the spread of STIs.

56% of people who ordered a home STI test kit in 2022 said they had never before attended a sexual health clinic.

Forty-two percent of users in 2023 said they had never had a STI test.

Twenty percent of gonorrhoea and thirty-six percent of chlamydia reports to the public health system originated via the home testing program as of mid-September.

“It’s offering more chances for diagnosis and treatment, which is especially crucial in light of the rising STI rates, both domestically and globally,” Ms. Naughton stated.

The STI home testing service will receive 4.27 million euros in funding in 2024, up from 3.55 million euros in 2023.

5,594 people gave the service an aggregate user rating of 4.88 out of 5 during the course of the previous year.

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