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Can I test for STIs in my local Pharmacy in NZ?

Can I test for STIs in my local Pharmacy in NZ?

Chalmydia STI test kits STI Testing

At this time pharmacies within New Zealand are not stocking the STD/STI test kits for Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Hep B, Syphilis or HIV.

The closest you can come to an over the counter purchase is online through www.testmyhealth.co.nz or with some online doctors practices who also sell the iCare range of home based STI test kits.

The testing process is as follows:

-Following a consultation with a doctor or through self-diagnosis the decision is made that you should test for STIs. You do not need to display symptoms to decide testing is appropriate as firstly many STIs do not show symptoms and it is typically at risk behaviour that indicates the need for STI testing. This testing may be for Chlamydia, Hep B, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis or HIV individually but typically if you have been at risk on one you have been at risk of many.

-Purchase the required test or tests through www.testmyhealth.co.nz. The home test kits are sent from Auckland and will typically arrive within 1-3 days depending on postage options. They are discreetly packed for your privacy. If required you can use a Post Collect service from NZ Post (see https://www.nzpost.co.nz/personal/receiving-mail-parcels/receiving-your-parcels/parcel-collect) and simply collect the item from your elected Post Shop.

-The home test kits (or rapid test kits as they are also referred to) contain everything you need for a +/- test result. Instructions are clear and the test typically takes 1-2 minutes. Results are shown in a test cartridge window with 1 line for negative and 2 lines for positive just as pregnancy tests. The test kits also have a fail indicator which is the display on no lines at all so the user knows the test failed and cannot be relied on. This is very rare but it is an important function.

-Once you have your test results the result if positive will need to be managed. For the minor infections this will normally involve antibiotic treatment. In the case of a positive for a serious infection such as HIV then you must contact your health provider for assistance and treatment. It is an important consideration when deciding to test at home for STIs is that you are testing without the assistance of a doctor and will need to manage the initial impact of positive STI/STD result by yourself. Whilst STI home testing is a very effective, private and convenient method for testing for sexual infections it is not for everyone and those concerned about their ability to manage the diagnosis should instead contact a STI testing facility for assistance. Family planning has information about testing which can be found at https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/clinics/services/sti-testing-and-treatment. Another very useful site about getting tested for Chlamydia, HIV etc is https://www.justthefacts.co.nz.



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