Private Versus NHS Blood Testing For Sexually Transmitted Infections


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Blood tests are a valuable tool in the arsenal used to combat the transmission of sexually transmitted disease (STDs). A number of conditions, most notably HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and Herpes Simplex, are very accurately and reliably detected using blood testing. In this article the differences between NHS and private blood testing for STIs are discussed.

Similarities between NHS and Private Blood Testing for STIs

In terms of the technique and methods used, blood testing is largely the same at both private practices and the NHS. A small blood sample is needed for testing and used for either the direct detection of an infection causing virus or bacterium, or alternatively the sample is studied for other markers that indicate the presence of a particular disease.

There are a number of different types of tests performed on blood samples, and largely speaking these are employed in both NHS and private testing facilities, that being said there are particular tests which may be easier to get through private testing.

Differences between NHS and Private Blood Testing for STIs

The major difference between NHS and private blood testing is cost. While the NHS provides its STI testing services for free, private companies can only offer their services at some cost. This can be a disadvantage where a series of tests are needed.

The advantage of private testing is usually that you can request tests and, as you are footing the bill, have them done. This is particularly useful for costly testing procedures or full STI screens which you might not be able to get on the NHS.


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