TEST. It's important.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. It can be found in vaginal fluids, anal fluids, blood, semen and pre-seminal fluid, as well as breast milk.
HIV can be transmitted sexually–through anal (top or bottom) or vaginal sex–and by sharing of needles and syringes.
Knowing your HIV status empowers you to make healthy decisions.
Know Your Status. Know the Facts.
Where can I get an HIV test?
Should I get tested for HIV?
Yes! According to CDC, everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine healthcare. If you have unprotected sex (i.e. no condoms or PrEP), have multiple sexual partners, use IV drugs or share needles, or have partners who are living with HIV and not on treatment, you should get tested more often.
How often should I get tested based on my sexual behavior?
CDC recommends getting tested at least once a year for
- People who inject drugs and their sex partners
- People who exchange sex for money or drugs
- Sex partners of people with HIV
- Sexually active men who have sex with men (more frequent testing may be beneficial; e.g., every 3‒6 months)
- Heterosexuals (straight individuals) who themselves or whose sex partners have had more than 1 sex partner since their most recent HIV test
- People receiving treatment for hepatitis, tuberculosis, or a sexually transmitted disease
How soon should I get tested after having unprotected sex?
No HIV test can immediately detect HIV after infection. Depending on the time of exposure and type of test, there is a window period (i.e. the time between when a person may have been exposed to HIV and when a test can detect the virus). To determine the best time for you to get tested, please consult with a provider.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV, immediately visit your healthcare provider, an urgent care or emergency room to receive PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). PEP is a medication that needs to be taken within 24-72 hours after exposure to prevent you from contracting HIV.
When will I know my test results?
- Rapid test (finger prick) - 60 seconds
- At-home (cheek swab) - 20 minutes
- Serology (blood draw) - within 1 week
What if my test result is positive?
- If your test is an at-home test, see a provider as soon as possible to confirm your test results.
- If you've been tested with a provider, after confirming your test results, you will be referred for HIV treatment.