Frequently asked HIV questions
Which tests do you offer?
Every HIV testing center we work with offers both the HIV antibody test and the early detetction HIV RNA test.
What happens during an HIV test?
All you need to do is order your test, either online or over the phone, and then come into the lab. You don't need an appointment; just come in and get tested.
Am I at risk for HIV? Do I need to get tested?
You can be at risk for HIV if you have engaged in activities that include the transfer of bodily fluids like semen, blood, or breast milk. You should definitely get tested if you've participated in any activities involving these fluids, especially if with a partner who has HIV or may be at risk for HIV.
I believe that I was recently exposed to HIV. When should I get tested?
There are two ways to screen for HIV: the HIV Antibody Test and the Early Detection Test. Each method has a different testing window.
The most common type of HIV testing is the HIV Antibody Test, which is a blood test that screens for antibodies to HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the average time it takes for detectable HIV antibodies to develop is 25 days. In some cases, it may take longer. If you get tested within the first 3 months after exposure and if there are not enough antibodies to detect, you may get a "false negative" result. We recommend getting re-tested after 3 months to get the most accurate results.
The Early Detection test makes it possible to detect HIV as soon as 6 days after exposure. However, our doctors recommend using the Early Detection Test a full 2 weeks after exposure to get the most accurate results. If the test is positive, the results should be confirmed by a re-test.
If you are certain that you have been exposed to HIV or Heptatitis B in the last 72 hours, please go to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic immediately to get preventive treatment.
How should I prepare for a test?
You do not need to prepare for HIV testing. Fasting is not required.
How quickly will my results be available?
Results are usually ready within 3 business days.
How do I know about my results?
You will be able to access your results via website once they are ready. We will send you an email containing secure login information. You can log into the website and view your results.
What should I do with my results?
If you test positive for HIV, one of our physicians will be available to talk to you about your results. You will then be referred to a local HIV specialist who will guide you in terms of further treatment and next steps.