How to take a blood sample

A blood sample is used to test for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Most people find it easier to take the test after watching our short video. It shows someone doing the test and gives you tips to help.

What is included in the kit?

  • sample tube

  • protective case for your sample tube

  • 3 lancets to prick your finger

  • 2 sterile wipes

  • 2 plasters

You'll also need some tissue.

How do I take the sample?

Warm up to help your blood flow. Do the test after having a shower, bath, soaking your hand in warm water, exercising or holding a warm mug.

Remove the yellow lid from the tube. Close the protective case and gently push the tube into the corner of the case so that it stands up, as shown on your instruction card.

Twist and pull the tip off a lancet. Then use a wipe to sterilise your chosen finger.

To prick your finger, lay your hand on a flat surface. Press the lancet firmly into your fingertip, not too close to your fingernail. Some people find the centre of their fingertips are sensitive and so they prick the side of their finger.

Keep your arm straight and massage down your finger. If your blood stops flowing, prick another finger. Fill the tube to the top line, then push the yellow cap down firmly so it clicks.

If you cannot fill the tube with the 3 lancets we've sent you, reply to one of our text messages and ask for some more to be sent to you.

Gently turn the tube upside down 5 times. Put the tube into the protective case. Put all your samples and lab card into the Freepost box and post in any Royal Mail post box.

Written by Helen Burkitt. Senior Sexual Health and Contraception Nurse
Last updated at: 05 December 2023