About this pilot project

Service update

Monday 22nd March 2021

Phase 2 of the pilot home testing service will commence on Monday 29th March. A minimum of 200 home tests will be available every day (7 days a week) over a six week period, until Sunday 9th May.

The amount of tests available each day is limited due to on-going Covid-19 restrictions. We need to ensure there is sufficient capacity in local clinics for service users who may need follow-up treatment or support.

The pilot was initially launched on Tuesday 5th January, but after unprecedented demand on the first evening of the service going live, the decision was made to pause the pilot, so as not to overwhelm local clinic capacity.

As the majority of these tests have now been processed, the pilot is being re-opened for phase 2, which will be the final phase for the project. Once the pilot closes on 9th May, you will still be able to return your tests, and the evaluation of the service will take place over the summer.

If you need urgent support, please contact your local sexual health clinic.

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 is being piloted in the counties of Dublin, Cork and Kerry. This means that anyone with an address in these pilot counties can order a free STI test to their home.

Order a test kit

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

People aged 17+ in County Dublin, Cork or Kerry can access a postal STI test while the pilot is live, from January 2021 until Spring / Summer 2021. An STI test kit can 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 is 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 if 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.