Written instructions for using the self sampling kit

[1] Before you begin the test make sure you have washed your hands with warm water. You’ll find it easier to collect your sample if you have warm hands.Rubbing them together can help too. It is also a good idea to have one or two large glasses of water to drink before you take your sample. Being well hydrated will make it easier.

[2] Unpack your Haus self-sampling kit on a clean surface and get a few clean tissues. Make sure the vial, where you will collect your sample, is positioned firmly upright in the plastic packing container it arrived in.

[3] Use your middle finger to collect your sample, this is usually best for most people, as your skin is soft there and it provides good blood flow. If you find that finger does not work for you, try the smaller fingers.

[4] Use the alcohol swab to clean your finger, and dry with a clean tissue or leave it to dry on its own. Blood will not form a drop easily on a moist finger.

[5] Twist the top of the safety lancet twice and remove that tip to break the seal. The lancets can only activate once.

[6] Position the safety lancet against the finger and press it firmly against your finger until you feel a little sting. [Voiceover pause a moment] You will see a small drop of blood form. Wipe away this drop with a clean, dry, tissue.

[7] Massage the side of the finger to form a new drop of blood. You may find it easier to stand up rather than sit to collect your sample.

[8] Position your finger directly over the collection tube, and then gently massage your finger. As each drop forms, transfer this into the tube. Ensure you ‘milk’ the finger by starting near the hand and rubbing toward the tip, rather than squeezing very hard.

[9] If you are unable to collect enough blood, there are spare lancets, so you can try your smaller fingers in order to get a full sample. Fill the blood collection tube to the upper line on the side of the tube (marked 600). [camera: close up of filled tube]. The lab cannot test samples below the 400 line, so be sure to reach that upper line.

[10] There is a plaster provided for you, apply this to your finger, then tightly press the cap onto the blood tube.

[11] Gently invert the tube upside down and right side up 10 times. This allows the stabilising gel which is already in your tube to work.

[12] Please write your first and last initials on the label along with your date of birth, and place this onto the tube (you should only do this after the tube has been filled). Now place the tube into the hard plastic transporter pack.

[13] Please also complete the questionnaire that is included in your pack, so we know what you think about this way of HIV testing.

[14] Make sure that you place all of these items into the plastic tamperproof envelope. Please include your labelled sample in the protective packing wallet, your used (or unused) lancets and your completed questionnaire. You can discard the white box yourself, as that may be easier than posting it back. You can either return your unused lancets in the pack along with your sample and your questionnaire, or you can dispose of them in the rubbish.

[15] Once you are finished, all you need to do is put it into a postbox, and you will usually be contacted with your results within five working days.

[16] You will usually be contacted about your results through a text to your mobile phone, but if you do not have a mobile, or there is a problem with the sample, or if the test is reactive (meaning that you may have HIV), you will get a call from a health advisor who will advise you what to do next. If that is necessary, they will arrange for further testing and can put you into contact with local organisations that can provide you with any information and support you require. There is a lot they can do to give support and information to people in that situation, and people with HIV need to know that this is now a very manageable illness.

You should keep hold of your information sheet which has our contact details and your unique ID study number. If you are concerned because you have not heard back about your test result, please contact the research team – their contact details are on the information sheet you were provided when you were given the kit.