With European HIV-Hepatitis testing week coming up we wanted to bring you more information about the HIV Self-Testing Kits available in (some) pharmacies and show you how the self-test is done.
1. We'd like to see the Testing Kits available in ALL pharmacies. So far it is only available in some.
2. We appeal to the Pharmacists to be more sensible when people are requesting the kit. This is how our experience went:
Me: "Hi, do you have the self-testing kits please?" Pharm (with other customers in the pharmacy): "The HIV Ones?" Me: *gulp* "Yeah I need two"
Unfortunately, A LOT of people still don't know a thing or two about HIV and rather than stating it out loud, it would be more sensible to simply show the box to confirm with the customer.
3. Using the kit is super-easy, but make sure to go over the instructions step-by-step as you can only use the kit once! (They cost EUR39.95)
4. The Kit does not detect other forms of STD/SAIs, so make sure to keep your appointments with the GU Clinic regular, especially if you are sexually active.
5. The test will only detect the virus for any sexual (or other) activity that took place at least 3 months prior to the testing.
6. If the results show that you have the HIV, get in touch with the GU Clinic immediately. Nowadays, treatment is available to keep it under control.
7. In the case you have had HIGH-RISK activity with someone who is HIV positive (and detectable) in the last 72 hours, it is advised you consult with the GU Clinic to know if you need to take the #PEPtreatment. Be aware that this costs over EUR500 and the Government does not sponsor it.
8. Sexually active persons are encouraged to go on #PrEP. A pill which is taken every day and has been proven to prevent the spread of HIV.
9. Condoms and safe sex are still important practices as PrEP alone does not prevent you from getting other SAIs.
10. We made this video in Maltese, however, we will be uploading English sub-titles when we have more time and resources :)