Superdrug Has Become The First UK Shop To Sell Gum Swab HIV Tests

(Photo: SolStock via Getty Images)
(Photo: SolStock via Getty Images)

(Photo: SolStock via Getty Images)

Superdrug has become the first ever high street retailer to offer the world’s first gum swab HIV self-testing kit, meaning you can now test yourself for HIV and get results back in just 20 minutes at home.

Instead of pricking your finger and testing your blood sample, the OraQuick™ HIV Self-Test uses an oral fluid sample gathered from swabbing your gums - great news for anyone as squeamish as us.

As well as getting to skip out on having to draw your own blood, which for many of us can be a tricky job, the new gum swab test also reduces the number invalid results compared to blood-based HIV self-tests.

The proportion of people being diagnosed late with HIV increased from 41% in 2019 to 46% in 2021 and the latest UK Government statistics show that testing rates are still lagging behind pre-Covid levels, so it’s more important than ever that we have access to easy test options.

The test gives results in just 20 minutes. (Photo: Superdrug)
The test gives results in just 20 minutes. (Photo: Superdrug)

The test gives results in just 20 minutes.  (Photo: Superdrug)

The gum tests detect antibodies to HIV that appear in the mouth of anyone who is infected by the virus and give results in just 20 minutes – a massive reduction in time compared to the usual 72 hour wait for blood self-test results. 

With over 99.7% accuracy, it’s hoped that the self-test kits will increase the number of people testing for HIV – with the Government hoping to end new HIV cases in the UK by 2030.

According to Brian Reid, vice president of Diagnostics International at OraSure Technologies (the people behind the new gum swab tests), it’s critical that people have access to the most user-friendly HIV tests out there: “Knowing your HIV status is the necessary first step in helping you to make informed choices and assume responsibility for your own healthcare. If detected early, treatment can be quickly initiated, improving patient outcomes.”

OraQuick™ HIV Self-Test is available to buy at and at RRP is £29.95.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.