Thursday, May 19, 2022

How Long After Sex To Test For Hiv

Exact Answer: 10 Days To 3 Months

Real Question: How Long Does it Take to Test Positive for HIV?

HIV is the abbreviation used to connote the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is classed as one of the most notorious STIs. Contracting this virus means that the patient in question can suffer from AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV AIDS is a contagious ailment that attacks the immune system of the individuals body, making it weak against infections and diseases.

The exchange of bloodily fluids like blood, semen, etc. can transmit the virus. Thus, unprotected intercourse has been identified as one of the main avenues through which HIV can be transmitted from one person to another. Therefore, much like other STIs, one must also get tested for HIV.

When To Get Tested For Hiv

FAST FACTS

If you think you might have been exposed to HIV, its best to speak to a healthcare professional immediately.

Even if you dont think you have been at risk, testing regularly is good practice for people who are having sex. Its important to test for HIV during pregnancy. If you know your status, you can avoid passing the virus on to your baby. A window period is the amount of time it takes after infection for a test to give you an accurate result. Its good to know about window periods, but dont delay getting tested if you think you might have been exposed to HIV.

What Does A Negative Hiv Test Result Mean

A negative result doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have HIV. That’s because of the window periodthe time between when a person gets HIV and when a test can accurately detect it. 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 kind of 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 using to be sure. To learn more about the window period and when a person should get retested, see CDCs How soon after an exposure to HIV can an HIV test if I am infected?. If you get an HIV test within 3 months after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again in 3 more months to be sure.

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.

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Some Practices Dont Reduce Your Risk Of Hiv

Some people use unreliable methods to reduce their risk of HIV. These include:

  • Serosorting choosing your sexual partner based upon them having the same HIV status as you.
  • Strategic positioning where an HIV-negative partner penetrates an HIV-positive partner.
  • Withdrawal when the insertive partner pulls out before ejaculating .

None of these strategies are reliable, so you are at risk of HIV transmission.Having sex only with people who have the same HIV status can be very risky. For example, a person may think they are HIV-negative, but may have been exposed to HIV since their last test, or may never have been tested at all.

Using a combination of proven, reliable strategies like condoms, PrEP, and undetectable viral load is the best way to prevent HIV transmission.

Who Should Consider Taking Pep

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If you are HIV-negative and you think you may have been recently exposed to HIV, contact your health care provider immediately or go to an emergency room right away.

You may be prescribed PEP if you are HIV negative or don’t know your HIV status, and in the last 72 hours you

  • Think you may have been exposed to HIV during sex,
  • Shared needles or drug preparation equipment, OR
  • Were sexually assaulted

Your health care provider or emergency room doctor will help to decide whether PEP is right for you.

PEP may also be given to a health care worker after a possible exposure to HIV at work, for example, from a needlestick injury.

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Screening For Hiv In Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, you’ll 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

How Can I Get Tested

To get tested, you can:

  • Ask your doctor to test you.
  • Go to a local clinic or community health center.
  • Go to National HIV and STD Testing Resources to find a testing center near you.
  • Buy a test at a pharmacy and do the test at home.

Many testing centers will do an HIV test for free. Ask if there is a fee before you go for testing. In most states you do not need a parent’s permission to get tested for HIV. And you can buy the test at the pharmacy without a parent.

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Why Should Someone Get Tested For Hiv

If someone is infected with HIV, it’s important to know because:

  • Starting medicines right away can keep a person stay healthy for a long time.
  • There are ways to stop the spread of HIV to others, such as using a condom and taking medicines.
  • A pregnant woman who is infected can get treatment to try to prevent passing HIV to her baby.

Another reason to get tested is peace of mind: A negative test result can be a big relief for someone who is worried about being infected.

Where To Access Testing Services

window period for hiv test (when to test for hiv)

Standard HIV testing can generally be accessed through any health provider across the country. Each province is responsible for licensing the laboratories that provide HIV screening and confirmatory testing in its jurisdiction. In general, all provincial Public Health Laboratories provide both screening and confirmatory testing. Reference and specialized services, when required, are provided by the National HIV Reference Serology Laboratory after consultation with the provincial laboratory. It is advisable to contact your testing laboratory to confirm the specimen collection details.

Anonymous or POC testing locations can be found by calling a local HIV/AIDS hotline .

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How Soon After Exposure To Hiv Can An Hiv Test Detect If You Are Infected

No HIV test can detect HIV immediately after infection. If you think youve been exposed to HIV, in the last 72 hours, talk to your health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis , right away.

The time between when a person gets HIV and when a test can accurately detect it is called the window period. The window period varies from person to person and also depends upon the type of HIV test.

Types Of Condomless Sex And Risk Of Hiv

During condomless sex, HIV in the bodily fluids of one person may be transmitted to the body of another person through the mucous membranes of the penis, vagina, and anus. In very rare cases, HIV could potentially be transmitted through a cut or sore in the mouth during oral sex.

Out of any type of condomless sex, HIV can most easily be transmitted during anal sex. This is because the lining of the anus is delicate and prone to damage, which may provide entry points for HIV. Receptive anal sex, often called bottoming, poses more risk for contracting HIV than insertive anal sex, or topping.

HIV can also be transmitted during vaginal sex without a condom, although the vaginal lining is not as susceptible to rips and tears as the anus.

The risk of getting HIV from oral sex without using a condom or dental dam is very low. It would be possible for HIV to be transmitted if the person giving oral sex has mouth sores or bleeding gums, or if the person receiving oral sex has recently contracted HIV.

In addition to HIV, anal, vaginal, or oral sex without a condom or dental dam can also lead to transmission of other STIs.

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If My Test Is Negative Do I Need Get Tested Again

Talk to your doctor or the counselor or social worker at the testing site to see if you need to get tested again.

Some reasons to get tested again include if you:

  • have sex without a condom
  • are a guy who has sex with other guys
  • have had sex with more than three partners in the past year

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Clinical Indications For Hiv Testing

What happens when you go for an HIV test

Individuals requesting an HIV test.

Individuals with symptoms and signs of HIV infection.

Individuals with illnesses associated with a weakened immune system or a diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse or use of shared drug equipment with a partner whose HIV status is known to be positive.

Pregnant or planning a pregnancy and their partners as appropriate.

Victims of sexual assault.

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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.

Who Should Be Tested For Hiv And How Frequently

It is recommended that the consideration of HIV testing be made a component of routine care. In general, care providers should take an active approach to HIV testing, offering HIV testing to clients whether or not clients have asked for a test. In the provision of routine medical care, and in discussion with the client, care providers should consider whether there is a benefit to an HIV test.

HIV testing is associated with several advantages:

  • a negative test result is an opportunity for clients to take an active role in remaining HIV negative
  • the early detection of HIV, especially at the acute stage, can improve outcomes for individuals and prevent further transmission of HIV
  • detection at any stage of the disease, prior to wasting and dementia, is an opportunity to initiate lifesaving treatment and other related healthcare services
  • opportunities arise for conversations with clients about risk-reduction strategies

2.1.1 Testing recommendations

An in-depth comprehensive HIV behavioural risk assessment is not a requirement for offering an HIV test. An assessment that the client understands how HIV is transmitted, the implications of testing , and how to interpret the test results is sufficient.

For occasions when clients may not be able to accurately estimate their risk, the guide includes more detailed guidance in Appendix B for conducting rapid risk assessments and a more detailed technical review of HIV transmission risks can be found in Appendix C.

2.1.2 Couples testing

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When To Get Tested

Seek medical advice immediately if you think there’s a chance you could have HIV. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming seriously ill.

Some HIV tests may need to be repeated 1-3 months after exposure to HIV infection, but you should not wait this long to seek help.

A GP or a sexual health professional can talk to you about having a test and discuss whether you should take emergency HIV medicine.

Anti-HIV medicine called post-exposure prophylaxis may stop you becoming infected if taken within 72 hours of being exposed to the virus.

Types Of Hiv Tests And Their Window Periods

#AskTheHIVDoc: Repeat HIV Test? (1:07)
  • Nucleic Acid Test A NAT can usually tell you if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure
  • Antigen/Antibody TestAn antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after exposure. Antigen/antibody tests done with blood from a finger prick take longer to detect HIV .
  • Antibody TestAn antibody test can take 23 to 90 days to detect HIV infection after an exposure. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid.

Ask your health care provider or test counselor about the window period for the test youre taking and whether you will need a follow-up test to confirm the results. If youre using a self-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. Remember, you can only be sure you are HIV-negative if:.

  • Your most recent test is after the window period
  • You havent had a potential HIV exposure during the window period. If you do have an exposure, then you will need to be retested.

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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 you’ll 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.

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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What About False Results

Some HIV tests have a very slight chance of giving you false results. A âfalse-positiveâ result means your test shows you have HIV when you donât. Tests may also give you a âfalse-negativeâ result. That means the test says you donât have HIV, but you do.

The rapid oral fluid test is more likely to give you a false-positive result than other tests. If you take a rapid oral test and get a positive result, the doctor will give you a blood test to confirm your diagnosis.

The HIV RNA or viral load test is not generally used to diagnose HIV. If you have this test done and get a positive result, the doctor may start you on HIV treatment, but you should always take an antibody test a few months later to confirm your diagnosis.

If you test positive: These tests are all screening tests for HIV. That means that if you take an HIV test and get a positive or even an unclear result, youâll need another blood test to confirm that you do or donât have the virus. The results of both tests together are more than 99% accurate. The tests used to confirm HIV infection are either the Western blot or indirect fluorescent antibody test. If your screening test went to a laboratory, they can do this additional testing on the same blood sample. But if you were tested in a community clinic or at home, youâll need to give an additional blood sample for follow-up.

I Think I’ve Been Exposed To Hiv Can I Still Prevent Hiv Infection

HIV treatment breakthrough as drugs stop transmission of ...

There may be times when you have a high-risk exposure to HIV and you cannot or did not protect yourself. For example:

  • The condom slipped or broke during use.
  • Your partner has HIV and you usually use condoms, but didn’t the last time you had sex.
  • Rape or a sexual assault.
  • You shared a needle to shoot drugs with someone and you are not sure if he or she has HIV.
  • You know that the person with whom you shared needles or had unprotected sex has HIV.
  • Go to a hospital emergency room or health care setting right away so that you can get all of the care you need. Women can also get emergency birth control to prevent pregnancy. Medicaid and Medicare pay for PEP for rape and sexual assault survivors. The Crime Victims Board may also pay for PEP, call 1-800-247-8035. TTY: 1-888-289-9747, Monday – Friday 9:00AM – 5:00PM.If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, call the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault at 1-800-942-6906. TTY: 1-800-655-1789.

In these cases, if you seek medical care right away, you may be able to take medicines that may help you from getting infected with HIV. This is called

PEP has been used for people who come in contact with HIV by accident – like a nurse getting stuck by a used needle. Now, PEP can be used for more than just on-the-job accidents. Sometimes this is called nPEP. The “n” in nPEP stands for “non-occupational” which means that you did not get exposed to HIV at work. PEP is only for people who were just exposed to HIV and do not already have it.

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