Based On Population And Setting
Pregnant women testing HIV negative in their first or second trimesters of pregnancy in settings with generalized epidemics: In order to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, pregnant women should be tested as early as possible in each pregnancy. Women who test HIV negative in their first or second trimesters of pregnancy should be recommended to return for another HIV test in their third trimester of pregnancy, preferably between the 28th and 36th weeks. In the event that a woman does not return for testing during her third trimester, she should be recommended to test at labour or, if that is not possible, immediately after delivery. Refer to the Guidance on global scale-up of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission for additional information on maternal and infant testing.
HIV negative persons testing in specific clinical settings : Individuals seen for a diagnosis or treatment of STIs, for TB patients with a new potential HIV exposure or who are at higher risk of HIV exposure, outpatients with clinical conditions suggestive of HIV infection with an HIV negative test result should be re-tested after four weeks from the time they were initially tested. Individuals with STIs should be recommended to be re-tested for HIV and counselled with each new STI diagnosis.
Hiv Testing Outside Of A Health Care Setting Or Lab
If you are tested outside of a health care setting or lab you will likely receive a rapid HIV test
- If the test comes back negative, and you havent had a possible exposure during the previous 3 months, you can be confident you dont have HIV.
- If your test result is positive, you should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing. Counselors providing the test should be able to answer questions and provide referrals for follow-up testing as well. You can use the HIV.gov locator to find a provider near you.
What Does A Negative Test Result Mean
A negative result doesnt necessarily mean that you dont have HIV. Thats because of the window period the time between when a person may have been exposed to HIV and when a test can tell for sure whether they have HIV. The window period varies from person to person and is also different depending upon the type of HIV test.
Ask your health care provider about the window period for the test youre taking. If youre using a home test, you can get that information from the materials included in the tests package. If you get an HIV test after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again after the window period for the test youre taking to be sure. For example, if your health care provider uses an antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory with blood from a vein you should get tested again 45 days after your most recent exposure. For other tests, you should test again at least 90 days after your most recent exposure to tell for sure if you have HIV.
If you learned you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested, you can only be sure youre still negative if you havent had a potential HIV exposure since your last test. If youre sexually active, continue to take actions to prevent HIV, like using condoms the right way every time you have sex and taking medicines to prevent HIV if youre at high risk.
If I have a negative result, does that mean that my partner is HIV negative also?
No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status.
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Letting Partners Know You Have Hiv
If you have just been diagnosed with HIV, it will likely be a difficult time. You might still be struggling to come to terms with diagnosis.
During this time, it is important to let any sexual or injecting partners know they may have been exposed to HIV as soon as you can, so they can be tested and offered PEP if appropriate.
You do not have to do this alone. Your doctor or the Department of Health and Human Services Partner Notification Officers can help you through this process and ensure your identity is not revealed.. Both groups can provide information, support, and guidance for people living with HIV.
Screening For Hiv In Pregnancy
If youre pregnant, youll be offered a blood test to check if you have HIV as part of routine antenatal screening.
If untreated, HIV can be passed to your baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Treatment in pregnancy greatly reduces the risk of passing HIV on to the baby.
Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021 Next review due: 22 April 2024
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When Should You Get Tested For Hiv After Condomless Sex
Keep in mind, if you believe youve been exposed to HIV, its important to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Theres no HIV test that can accurately detect HIV in the body immediately after exposure. Theres a time frame known as the window period before you can be tested for HIV and receive accurate results.
Regardless of the type of test you take after a potential HIV exposure, you should get tested again after the window period has passed to be certain.
People at higher risk of contracting HIV should get regularly tested as often as every 3 months.
How Long Should I Wait Before I Test
Some infections do not show up immediately after sex and you may need to wait in order to get accurate test results.
We usually say to wait:
- 2 weeks for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
- 4 weeks for syphilis and HIV
If you have symptoms of infection, contact us for a telephone consultation we will probably offer testing sooner.
For other infections, the timings can vary. Please book a telephone consultation to discuss.
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Reducing The Risk Of Hiv Transmission
The most effective way to prevent HIV transmission during sex is to use a condom. Get a condom ready before any sexual contact occurs, since HIV can be transmitted through pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluid, and from the anus.
Lubricants can also help reduce the risk of HIV transmission by helping prevent anal or vaginal tears. The right lubricants also help prevent condoms from breaking.
Only water-based lubricants should be used with condoms. Oil-based lube can weaken latex and sometimes cause condoms to break.
The use of a dental dam, a small plastic or latex sheet that prevents direct contact between the mouth and the vagina or anus during oral sex, is also effective at reducing the risk of HIV transmission.
For people who may have a higher risk of contracting HIV, preventive medication is an option. Pre-exposure prophylaxis medication is a daily antiretroviral treatment.
Everyone at high risk of HIV should begin a PrEP regimen, according to a recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Per the recommendation, sexually active people are considered at high risk of HIV if they have one of the following characteristics:
- in a sexual relationship with someone who is living with HIV
- inconsistent condom use during sex with a partner whose HIV status is not known and who may be at high risk
- having a sexually transmitted infection , such as syphilis or gonorrhea within the past 6 months
- for men, inconsistent condom use during anal sex
Can Certain Stds Lie Dormant And Not Be Detected
In some cases, an STD may be asymptomatic because its latent, or lying dormant in your body. Latent STDs can cause someone to remain undiagnosed until symptoms begin to appear. This may put them at risk for long-term complications.
Chlamydia, hepatitis C, HIV, HSV , and syphilis can all have periods of latency.
The best way to ensure that dormant STDs receive the proper diagnosis and treatment is regular STD screening. The CDC recommends that all sexually active adults with new or multiple sexual partners receive at least yearly testing for most STDs, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Its also recommended that people who have sex without a condom or other barrier method receive STD testing more frequently.
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Whats The Difference Between Stds And Stis
STDs are sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted infections . Many providers use this term since theres less stigma attached to the word infection. Its possible to have an infection without symptoms, and the infection may cause disease in the future. In the absence of symptoms, the only way to diagnose an STI is to screen for it.
When Should I Start Pep And How Long Do I Need To Take It
PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV. The sooner you start it, the better every hour counts.
You need to take the PEP medicines every day for 28 days. You will have to see your health care provider at certain times during and after taking the PEP, so you can have an HIV screening test and other testing.
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Key Points To Remember
- Many health experts and provincial health organizations in Canada recommend HIV testing for everyone. Other experts and organizations, including the Public Health Agency of Canada , recommend having a screening test for HIV if you have a high risk of infection.1 HIV tests are also recommended for all pregnant women.
- You may not need to be screened for HIV if you arenât sexually active and if you and your doctor have determined that you have a very low risk for getting HIV.
- HIV may not cause symptoms early on. And people who have early symptoms may mistake them for the flu or mononucleosis. So without a test, you may not know that you have an infection.
- If you have a test that shows that you have HIV, you can take steps to prevent spreading HIV to others.
- You may be afraid to be tested for HIV. But if thereâs any chance you could be infected, itâs very important to find out. HIV can be treated, and early treatment can slow down the virus and help you stay healthy.
- Getting treatment may lower the chance that you will give the infection to a sex partner who doesnât have the infection or to your baby, if you are pregnant.3
- It can take as little as 2 weeks or as long as 3 months from the time you become infected with HIV for the antibodies or antigens to be found in your blood. If you think you have been exposed to HIV but you test negative for it, you should be tested again.
- If your test shows that you have HIV, your sex partner will need to know and get tested.
How Long Should I Wait After Unprotected Sex To Get Tested For Stds
By | April 29, 2020, 6:49 p.m.
How soon after I had sex can I get tested for STDs?
Practicing safer sex lowers your chances of getting or spreading STDs. And if youve done anything that puts you at risk of infection, getting tested helps you stay healthy.
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What Should I Be Tested For And When
People often say, Just test for everything. While that might seem to make sense initially, its important to talk to your health care provider about your specific risk factors and lifestyle. There are a few downsides to testing for everything that are important to consider. First of all, tests are expensive, and in a few cases, such as blood testing for herpes, a positive test can be a false positive. False positives may result in unnecessary anxiety when there may be virtually no risk of transmission and no required treatment.
Here are some instances that would prompt a screening test:
- Youre sexually active. Everyone who is sexually active should be screened at some point. We recommend an HIV test for everyone who is sexually active. We also suggest women obtain a test for gonorrhea and chlamydia, because, unlike men, they frequently harbor these infections without developing symptoms. Keep in mind that if youre practicing safe sex and are in a monogamous relationship, you can get tested less frequently.
- Youre having unprotected sex. If youve had or want to start having sex vaginal, anal, or oral with a new partner, without a condom, its a good idea to get tested. Heres how long after exposure we can get a reliable test result:
- 2 weeks: gonorrhea and chlamydia
- 1 week to 3 months: syphilis
- 6 weeks to 3 months: HIV, hepatitis C and B
Still have questions? Make an appointment to talk to your PCP today in our judgment-free office.
How Well Does Prep Work
PrEP is very effective when you take it every day. It reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. In people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk of HIV by more than 70%. PrEP is much less effective if you do not take it consistently.
PrEP does not protect against other STDs, so you should still use latex condoms every time you have sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
You must have an HIV test every 3 months while taking PrEP, so youll have regular follow-up visits with your health care provider. If you are having trouble taking PrEP every day or if you want to stop taking PrEP, talk to your health care provider.
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How Long Does It Take For Hiv Symptoms To Show
A short, flu-like illness is usually the only symptom of HIV, two to six weeks after infection. About 80% of people with HIV experience this. If youre having these symptoms, and theres a chance you couldve been exposed to HIV in recent weeks, its a good idea to get tested.
The most common symptoms of this illness are:
- Sore throat
Other symptoms include aches and pains, swollen glands, and feeling very tired. After these symptoms pass its possible to go years without experiencing any symptoms.
When Should I Get Tested For Stds
To help stay as safe as possible, the CDC recommends that you get tested for STDs after having an unprotected sexual encounter with a person outside of a monogamous sexual relationship. However, beyond this general principle, there are specific windows of time during which you should get tested for each STD. Its important to be aware of these time windows because if you get tested before the window begins, you could have a false negative STD test, according to the CDC. This means that you could get a negative result when you actually do have the STI. It can be agonizing to waitbut its definitely worth it to get tested during the appropriate time window. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should refrain from any sexual activity until you are sure you do not have an STI.
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What Support Is Available
If you receive an HIV diagnosis, you can find help. Your healthcare provider can recommend support groups and counselors.
If someone tells you they are HIV-positive, they are telling you because they trust you. The time right after diagnosis can be very tough. You can support them in many ways:
- Be a friend. While they may not be ready to talk about their diagnosis right away, show them you care by treating them as you did before.
- Listen. Your friend may just need someone to listen to their concerns and fears. Be there for them.
- Learn about the disease. The reference section of this article has additional information to learn about the condition.
- Encourage them to seek treatment. Your friend may not realize they have options available. They do, and they can get treatment. Help them find it and stick to it.
- Get help for yourself. While it will be a challenging time for your friend, you may need some support too. Talk to others a counselor, for example about any concerns or anxieties you may have.
What Types Of Tests Are Out There
There are plenty of tests that make staying informed accessible, but theres no single test for every STD. Most tests require a urine or blood sample, or a swab of the area where the infection might be present. If you have a sore and we want to pinpoint the cause, a swab can additionally identify whether a specific virus or bacteria is present. There are also rapid HIV tests you can buy for home use results are available in about 20 minutes.
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Getting Your Test Results
If your blood is sent to the Public Health Lab it will take approximately 2-3 weeks for your test results to come back. You can call the clinic 2 weeks after your test to get the results.If Your Test is Negative
- It means you didn’t have HIV antibodies in your blood at the time of your test
- If it’s been 3 months after your last exposure and your test is negative, you don’t have HIV
- If it’s been less than 3 months you should be re-tested, ensuring safer-sex and needle sharing practices until the time of your next test.
If Your Test is Positive
- A positive test means you have antibodies for HIV.
- It does NOT automatically mean that you have AIDS.