About this pilot project

Service update

Monday 24th May 2021

The ordering phase of the online STI testing pilot in Ireland has now closed.

If you have already ordered a test, you can still return it to get your results, and if you need help with an existing order or results, you can reply to any text message from SH:24 to get in touch with our clinical team.

You can access confidential sexual and reproductive health services and support from any of the HSE's clinics across Ireland.

The HSE Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme (SHCPP) is piloting a home STI testing project for Ireland in partnership with online STI testing provider SH:24.

The aim of the pilot project is to assess the feasibility, acceptability and impact of an online STI service that is integrated with public STI clinics in Ireland.

The objectives of the pilot project are to:

  • shift those with less complex sexual health needs out of clinics to an online service thus reducing waiting times and more appropriately using available public STI clinic staff resources
  • improve service user access to STI testing and treatment in the pilot project areas
  • promote self-management of service users through online access to comprehensive sexual health information, signposting to services and remote clinical support.

The project was being piloted in the counties of Dublin, Cork and Kerry.

Who could access postal STI testing as part of this pilot?

People aged 17+ in County Dublin, Cork or Kerry were able to access a postal STI test while the pilot was live in early 2021. An STI test kit could be ordered on the SH:24.ie website and sent to a person's home. Instructions are provided on how to complete the test kit, with support available from SH:24’s clinical team by phone or text message. A stamped addressed envelope is provided to post the completed test kit back to the lab. People will receive their results within 72 hours of their samples arriving at the lab.

Anyone who has a positive result will be supported by SH:24’s clinical team to access one of the participating clinics in this pilot:

Dublin:

  • GUIDE Clinic, St. James’s Hospital
  • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH)
  • St. Vincent's University Hospital (SVUH)

Cork and Kerry:

  • South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH)

Why was the pilot project only available in Dublin, Cork and Kerry?

The pilot project is designed to look at the feasibility and impact of online sexual health services, which will give us information on whether a national online service might be the type of service we provide in the future.

The pilot sites were selected to ensure a mix of urban and rural settings so that data could inform decisions about what a service available across Ireland may look like.

What happens after the pilot project?

Following the service delivery period, a formal evaluation of the pilot project will be undertaken. This will inform the national strategy for future service provision.

How will SH:24 handle my data?

SH:24 is fully compliant with GDPR and EU Data Protection laws, and uses industry leading security to protect our users, matching the same standards set by our HSE and NHS partner clinical services.

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number ID57.

If you have any questions about any aspect of this project, please email ireland@sh24.org.uk.