A SET of free sexual health and HIV test vending machines have officially launched.

The machines launched at five sites across Brighton and Hove on Friday, October 8.

The vending machines offer sexual health self-sampling kits and HIV self-tests free of charge.

The sexual health kits contain swabs and blood sampling equipment which will be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV when returned through the post to the Sexual Health Clinic.

The HIV self-tests are 99.7 per cent accurate and by using a single drop of blood, give a result in just 15 minutes.

The kits are for people without symptoms who want to check their sexual health or HIV status.

The five sites of the new, free-of-charge vending machines are:

• Jubilee Library, Brighton

• Portland Road, Hove (between Wish Park Surgery and Kamsons Pharmacy)

• Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC, Whitehawk

• Brighton Sauna, Brighton

• Black and Minority Ethnic Community Project Centre, Brighton

The initiative is jointly run by the Martin Fisher Foundation and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty welcomed the new service to the city.

He said: “Brighton and Hove is a HIV Fast Track City – which means we’re working together to end all new cases of HIV by 2030.

“For this to happen everyone at risk of HIV needs to take an HIV test and be aware of their HIV status. Having free testing kits more readily available will help us achieve this goal.

“We have some of the best HIV support, treatment, and prevention services and community organisations in the country. And I’m delighted that the Jubilee Library is one of the venues for this vital new service.”

The chair of the city's Health and Wellbeing Board Councillor Sue Shanks also attended the formal launch of the new machines at an event at Jubilee Library on Friday.