Residents in Hampshire will be able to determine if they are HIV positive in just one minute.

Rapid HIV testing has been launched by Solent's NHS Trust and the service will be free of charge.

Anyone who wants to know their HIV status can find out within 60 seconds at one of three locations - Aldershot, Portsmouth or Southampton.

The procedure will be done using a test called INSTI. A small drop of blood will be taken from a patient's finger and results will be available one minute later. This method has been chosen by the trust as it is viewed as providing reliable results and is easy to implement.

Patients will be given one of three results after they have undergone the test. 

The first is negative, which means there are no HIV antibodies present in a patient's blood, according to the test. Secondly, a positive outcome could be given, which equates to HIV antibodies being detected. 

If this is the case for any patients, further examination will be necessary at another clinic to determine the next steps.

Finally, there is the option of an invalid test result, which means it has been unsuccessful and sexual health services will need to carry out another one. 

Sexual health promotion and HIV prevention lead Andrew Smith said: "Rapid HIV testing is an opportunity to normalise HIV testing and offers opportunities for people to access a test outside of a clinical setting.  

"Offering tests in the community makes it easier for people to access HIV testing and, if needed, to quickly access support and care. Rapid HIV testing is about supporting people to take a positive action about their sexual health."

He added that he realised some people would be reluctant to go to a clinic for sexual health screening, but the organisation was confident this offered an alternative option in a confidential community setting.

Furthermore, drop-in sessions would be offered in addition to booked appointments. 

Support and counselling will be available before, during and after the testing. 

Anyone who receives a negative outcome is still strongly advised to use condoms when having sex and be HIV-tested once a year.