HIV testing kits could be used by almost two-thirds of people if they were made legal and regulated, a survey by Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has revealed.
The charity feels the government should legalise and regulate home HIV testing in order to reduce the number of undiagnosed HIV cases in Britain.
At present, the sale of HIV home tests is illegal in the UK, and while they can be bought over the internet, THT revealed they are unregulated and often of poor quality. Furthermore, they do not advise users where they can get additional support.
Of 490 HIV-negative people questioned, 63% revealed they would consider using the kits if they were no longer illegal, while just over half (51%) would take a test more often if they were made legal.
Nearly two-thirds (60%) of homosexual men - one of the groups considered to be more at risk of contracting HIV - revealed that legalising the kits would make them take the tests more frequently.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We are considering our current policy on HIV home testing and whether we need to repeal the current regulations.
“HIV testing is widely available from open-access NHS sexual health clinics. Our advice is clear - if you think you might be at risk from HIV, contact your local sexual health service or your GP for a test.”