STI self-testing kits

Fake STI self-testing kits can give unreliable or even false results and pose a risk to public health. Our top tips can help you spot a fake and stay safe when buying STI self-testing kits online.

It’s important to remember that no STI self-testing kit is 100% reliable and should never replace a health professional’s advice. Before buying a self-test kit, it’s always best to talk to a health professional.

Beware of dodgy websites

Beware of dodgy websites

Poor design, pop-ups spelling and grammar errors are all signs of dodgy websites. Check for genuine product reviews when buying online.

Look for the CE mark

A legitimate CE mark indicates that the product complies with essential regulatory requirements that make sure they work as they’re suppose and are safe.

Check the expiry date

Test kits that have passed their expiry date or don’t have on won’t provide reliable results.

Bad packaging, bad product

Kits with a homemade appearance or ones that are open or damaged should be avoided

The instructions should be clear

Instructions should be in English, clear and easy to read. Kits should include clear instructions that show you how to use the test correctly without the need for any specialist equipment.

Check that it is a self-test kit

Approved STI self-test kits should clearly state they are for use as a self-test and should not say “For professional use”.

HIV testing kits

HIV testing kits

Visit the Starts With Me website for useful information on the when and how of HIV testing.

Self-testing STI kits are not aways what they seem

Avoid unexpected surprises

Follow our top tips when buying self-testing kits online and always get advice from a healthcare professional.

NHS logo

Use NHS approved online providers of free and paid for STI self-test kits.

Visit the NHS website for more details.

Yellow Card logo

Report suspected #FakeMeds

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have a Yellow Card scheme. You can use this to report suspected #FakeMeds or side effects online.

Fake medicines and medical devices bought online can lead to serious negative health consequences.

Buying from dodgy websites also increases the risk of being ripped off through credit card fraud or having your identity stolen.

The #FakeMeds campaign, run by Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, helps you protect your health and money by providing quick and easy tools so you can avoid fake medical products when you shop online.

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Image of EU Common logo - mandatory logo for selling medicines online

Look for the logo to confirm a website is authorised by MHRA to sell medicines online.

More details online

C E Logo -  certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area

Look for a CE mark on medical devices as an indicator that it has been approved to be on the UK market.

Find out more about the CE mark

Dr Radha supports #FakeMeds

Hear from BBC Radio 1’s Dr Radha on why our #FakeMeds campaign is so important.

Diet pills


Diet pills side effects

Diet pills side effects

Buying dodgy diet pills can be dangerous and can cause devastating side effects.

Josh's diet pills story

Hear Josh’s story about what happened when he bought #FakeMeds online.

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