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Guide on which tests to use for non-cisgender individuals

We recognise many people do not identify as the gender to which they were assigned at birth.

If this applies to you, we will supply a kit that contains all the sample containers you need, whatever your gender or sexuality. We will also provide information as to the most accurate test for you.

Are self-test kits right for me?

Self-test kits are for when you want a sexual health check and have no symptoms / signs of infection or other concerns.  They are not suitable for everyone.

If you have never been to one of our clinics we strongly recommend you do so first, so we can make sure we address all of your needs. Additional services available in clinic include:

  • Testing and treatment for the full range of STIs
  • Contraception, including expert advice for those on hormone replacement therapy as part of gender reassignment treatment
  • Hepatitis A & B and HPV vaccination
  • Pre and post exposure prophylaxis for HIV (PrEP and PEPSE)
  • Support from our health advisors or outreach services provided by Terrence Higgins Trust

Which samples should I use?

The table below explains which samples you should use. This depends on what genitalia you have. For example, if you have a vagina, a vaginal swab is the most accurate way of testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea; if you have a penis, then a urine sample is recommended.

You may not need to use all the samples. Any samples that are not required can be placed into general household waste – do not flush down the toilet.

For additional support, please call our main phone line.

Type of sample Infections tested for Who should do the test Further information
Blood tests HIV and syphilis Everybody We recommend ALL patients are tested for HIV and syphilis. We recommend you come into clinic to screen for Hepatitis A, B and C  (if you have not done so recently) if you have risk factors. For example, if you:

  • give or receive anal sex
  • have chemsex or inject drugs
  • do sex work
  • have been sexually assaulted
  • have sex with people from high risk countries
  • take part in ‘higher risk’ sexual practises such as fisting
Urine sample Chlamydia and gonorrhea Anyone with a penis We recommend you give a urine sample if you have any form of penis, whether from birth or following gender re-assignment surgery (bottom surgery).

This test will ensure you receive the most accurate results.

Vaginal swab Chlamydia and gonorrhea Anyone with a vagina If you have a vagina from birth then we advise taking a vaginal swab.

If you have a vagina following gender re-assignment surgery (bottom surgery) and do not feel it is possible to perform a swab, please provide a urine sample instead.

Rectal swab Chlamydia and gonorrhea Anyone who receives anal sex or has oral-anal sex (rimming)
Throat swab Chlamydia and gonorrhea Anyone who gives oral sex to somebody with a penis or has oral-anal sex (rimming)