Who Will Know The Results Of My Testing
It depends on where you get your testing. Testing sites have different privacy rules. Ask about privacy rules at your testing site so you understand whether anyone else will know you got tested or see your results.
If you go to an anonymous test site, only you know the results. No written record of the test result is kept.
If you go to a confidential test site, the results will go in your medical record. Positive results are sent to the state or local health department. Your insurance company will have access to your results. Depending on the state you live in, your parent or guardian may be contacted.
What Is Informed Consent
Informed consent means you have enough information to understand HIV testing, such as the options for testing, an understanding of how the tests are done, what the results mean and the impact of testing. This will help you make an informed decision about your health care. Read more about informed consent, and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Where To Get An Hiv Test
Its never been easier to get an HIV test and to get a result quickly. You can get a test in person or order tests online, with free and paid-for options. Many tests will provide you with a result in a just a few minutes.
You can test in person at:
- An HIV testing centre, including those run by Terrence Higgins Trust.
- A GP/family doctor.
If you test at a sexual health clinic, testing centre or a GP then your test will be free. If you test at a private clinic, you will have to pay.
Face-to-face services may have different arrangements in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Please call them before attending.
You can also order tests online including:
- A self test, which you take yourself and see the result within a few minutes.
- A postal test, where you take a sample yourself and send it off to a lab, who will then contact you with your result.
We sell HIV self testing kits for just £15 to those most at risk of HIV. This site also offers free tests in some areas: Bedford and Central Bedfordshire, Brighton and Hove, Essex and Thurrock, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, Suffolk and the Scottish Health Board areas of Fife, Tayside, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire & Arran. Anyone living in Scotland who isn’t eligible for a free test through our service will be able to access one through the new HIV Self Test Scotland scheme when it reopens.
Try our free online HIV test finder to see what online testing is available in your area.
If youre using a self test, look out for the CE mark.
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Hiv Testing And Your Rights
Testing for HIV is voluntary and can only be done with your informed consent, except in exceptional circumstances.
Before you are tested, you will be provided with information about what is involved. what the results might mean for you, and how to prevent HIV transmission in the future. All people who request an HIV test must receive this information from the test provider.
Under Australian and Victorian law, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone who has HIV. Test results, and details on whether someone has been tested are strictly confidential. It is illegal for any information about a person being tested or a person with HIV to be disclosed without their permission.
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How Soon Can Hiv Be Detected By A Test
Most modern HIV tests are fourth or fifth generation tests, and can detect the virus in your blood from as early as 45 days after possible exposure.
Other types of test require more time to have passed. Rapid tests and self-test kits may not be able to detect HIV in your sample until three months after exposure.
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Who Else Should Get Hiv Tests
The CDC recommends that everyone between ages 13 and 64 get tested at least once even if you have no risk factors for HIV. Other people who should get tested at certain times or regularly include:
Pregnant women. HIV can be passed from mother to child in the womb. HIV testing is part of pregnancy care, but you have to agree to do it. If you test positive, antiretroviral therapy can protect your unborn baby from getting HIV. This works extremely well if you start treatment early.
People in a high-risk group. Get tested at least every 12 months if you inject drugs, work in the sex trade, have multiple sex partners, or do anything else that puts you at a higher risk.
If you are a sexually active gay or bisexual man, consider testing every 3 months. This is especially important if you donât know whether or not your partner or partners have HIV. Most infections happen in men who have sex with other men, and many donât know if they have HIV or not.
CDC: âTesting,â âHIV Risk Reduction Tool: The Window Period,â âHIV Risk Reduction Tool: Post-exposure Prophylaxis for Preventing HIV after Exposure,â âAn Opt-Out Approach to HIV Screening,â âHIV and Gay and Bisexual Men.â
NAM AIDSMap : âFalse negative results on HIV tests.â
HIV.gov: âHIV Testing Overview,â âHow Can You Tell If You Have HIV?â
San Francisco AIDS Foundation: âThe Questions about PrEP.â
GMHC: âHIV/AIDS Basics,â âThe GMHC Testing Center.â
Avert: “When to Get Tested for HIV.”
Human Papilloma Virus :
There are 100s of strains of HPV. Many are considered low-risk and are typically eradicated by the human immune system before any symptoms occur and without treatment. The low-risk strains HPV-6 and HPV-11 are most commonly associated with genital warts. High-risk strains of HPV are HPV-16, 18, which are associated with approximately 70% of cervical cancer and other cancer forming strains 31, 33, 45, 52 .
Although a vaccine has become available in the past 12 years to guard against the most common genital wart and cancer-causing strains of HPV, according to the CDC nearly all sexually active people, who do not get a vaccine, will get infected at some point in their lives. An estimated 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV and suffer from genital warts, or unusual growths or a form of HPV caused cancer or pre-cancer.
While HPV is an all too common STD, there are currently no standardized, approved tests for males and the only type of testing for females is the PAP smear which detects cancerous or precancerous growths on the cervix that may or may not be due to HPV. Because HPV can be spread through any type of sexual contact the importance of safe sex practices are paramount in the reduction of the spread of any form of HPV. Click here to read the Safe Sex Practices, resource provided by STDAware.
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Does Hiv Always Show Up On Testing
No, if someone was recently infected, it might not show up with testing. How quickly HIV shows up on testing depends on the type of test done:
- Testing that looks for the virus itself can find HIV 728 days after infection.
- Testing that looks for HIV antibodies can find HIV antibodies 312 weeks after infection.
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.
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Which Test Can Give Me Results The Soonest
The period of time also differs, depending on which kind of test you take. The different types of tests include:
- Antibody tests, which look for the antibodies — special proteins that help fight infection — that your body makes in reaction to an HIV infection. Most rapid tests and at-home tests are these kind. Antibody tests require the longest wait time after infection to get an accurate result. For most people — around 97% — this takes anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks. For some, it can take as long as 6 months.
- Combination or fourth-generation tests, which look for both antibodies and antigens. Antigens are part of the virus itself. One antigen, p24, is detectable before your body starts making antibodies. These tests are becoming more common in the U.S. They can tell you if you have HIV a little sooner than an antibody test can.
- Nucleic acid tests , which can detect HIV in your body the soonest after infection. The test looks for the virus in your blood. You need a certain amount of the virus in your blood before the test will detect it. This is called your viral load. You can get a negative test if your viral load is still low. A NAT can tell you if you have HIV as early as 7 to 28 days after infection. It gives the quickest result, but itâs also the most expensive. Doctors donât typically use it unless youâre at a high risk of exposure to HIV.
Youâre more likely to have a NAT if you:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing
Several different tests are used to detect HIV, including lab testing, the rapid antibody screening test, the rapid antigen/antibody test and a self-test that uses oral fluid.
Lab testing requires blood to be drawn from your vein. Your blood is then analyzed in a lab to detect either the genetic material of the virus, or specific HIV antigens and antibodies.
It usually takes several days to receive the results from an HIV lab test.
If youre tested for HIV with a rapid antibody screening test, or with a rapid antigen/antibody test, your results will typically be ready in under 30 minutes.
If you test yourself for HIV using an oral fluid antibody self-test such as the OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test, youll receive results within 20 minutes.
Right now, there are no tests that can accurately detect HIV immediately after infection. If youre worried that you may have been exposed to HIV, its important to seek medical help immediately and, if possible, use post-exposure prophylaxis .
In order to undergo testing for HIV, youll need to wait for the window period to pass.
The window period varies depending on the type of HIV test:
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Getting A Result Quickly
Many services offer rapid testing, which means a finger-prick test that will give you a result within minutes.
A self testing kit ordered online and done at home will normally give you a result up to 15 minutes, depending on the kit.
A blood sample taken at a testing centre will be sent to a lab, with results ready within a day or up to a week later.
If you use postal testing, the lab will normally contact you a week or so later with your result.
Im Pregnant When Should I Test
Testing for HIV during your pregnancy is very important. Left undiagnosed and untreated women living with HIV can pass the virus on to their unborn babies. In most countries, HIV tests are a routine part of the care women receive during pregnancy . Partners of pregnant women should also get tested during this time.
The earlier you test in your pregnancy the better. You’ll usually be tested in your first appointment, ideally before your tenth week. These tests should be repeated, either every three months or at least once again in your third trimester.
Your doctor will tell you everything you need to know about HIV testing alongside the other blood tests they do during pregnancy.
If you find out you are positive, youll be given treatment to prevent passing HIV on to your child. The earlier you start treatment, the greater the chance your child will be born HIV-negative. Check out our section on Pregnancy, childbirth & breastfeeding for more information.
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Dried Blood Spot Test
A DBS test is a free, accurate and convenient way to test for HIV in the comfort and privacy of your home.
It involves collecting a few drops of blood from your finger and allowing the blood to dry on a test card. You then send the card away to get tested and wait around a week to get the result back. You can register for a DBS HIV test here.
Are You At Risk For Hiv/aids
The only way to really know if you have HIV, AIDS, or another STI is to get tested. Dont let anxiety stop you! If you feel uneasy about getting tested, remember that:
- Getting tested will take away the worry of not knowing.
- HIV will cause serious health problems if it isnt managed properly.
- HIV testing doesnt take long and can be done anonymously.
- Involves a nurse or doctor discussing the testing process with you beforehand
- Will include counselling before the test
- Involves a specific type of blood test
- Isnt automatic and shouldnt take place without your consent
- Isnt a part of your routine blood test or included with any other STI testing
- Is confidential, and can be done anonymously at any Peel Healthy Sexuality Clinic
- Only you will get the results in person or over the phone
Before your HIV test you will speak with a healthcare practitioner about the test, what the results mean, and what your risks might be. This is called “pre-test counselling.
Ways to Get Tested
There are different ways to get tested for HIV. At Peel Public Health Sexuality clinics, we offer:
No health card is required for any type of HIV testing at a Peel Public Health Healthy Sexuality Clinic and the service is free.
When to Get Tested
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Hiv Transmission In Australia
In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:
- Unprotected anal or vaginal sex .
- Sharing any needles, syringes, or other injecting equipment.
- From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding This can occur when the mother doesnt know she is HIV-positive, or is not on effective treatment.
- Tattooing or other procedures that involve unsterile or reused equipment.
- Needle stick injuries.
HIV is not transmitted by:
- kissing, hugging, massaging, mutual masturbation and other body contact
- social interaction
- sharing food, dishes, utensils, drinking glasses
- air, breath, or being coughed or sneezed on
- mosquito, insect or animal bites
- use of communal facilities .
It is perfectly safe to consume food and drinks prepared by someone who is HIV-positive even if theyre not receiving treatment.
People with HIV who are on treatment and achieve and maintain an undetectable HIV viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.
Std Testing Doesn’t Replace Discussion
People often wonder whether they have to tell current/future partners that they might have been exposed to an STD. Whether the question is modified by “What if we only had oral sex?” or “What if it didn’t last long?” the answer is usually the same. These are discussions that everybody should be having before they have sex.
Most people don’t come to sexual relationships completely inexperienced. Therefore, talks about testing and safe sex aren’t just appropriate but smart.
Still, sometimes the discussion can be difficult. That’s why it’s always a good idea to practice safe sex, particularly until you’re reasonably certain of your test results.
Condoms may not be perfect, but latex types still offer protection against STDs.
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Should You Get Tested For Hiv If You Dont Think Youre At High Risk
Some people who test positive for HIV were not aware of their risk. That’s why CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and that people with certain risk factors should get tested more often .
Even if you are in a monogamous relationship , you should find out for sure whether you or your partner has HIV.
When To Get Tested For Hiv
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.
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Hiv And Health Insurance Among Black People
Despite increased access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, 1 of every 9 Black people is without insurance. Black trans people, especially Black trans women, often experience hostility in health settings. Black transmasculine people are often excluded from HIV discourse despite testing positive at higher rates in comparison to the general population.
Poor community access to health insurance, provider hostility, and lack of provider knowledge about trans communities may increase a persons likelihood of testing HIV-positive. Among Black MSM, the lack of insurance increases the risk of HIV by 2.5 times compared to those who have insurance.
Lets say youve recently had unprotected sex and now youre worried that you may have picked up a sexually transmitted disease . With STD rates rising higher than ever before, this is a totally valid and legitimate concern. So what do you do? Getting tested would be a very smart decision, but you may be surprised to learn that you can actually test too early.
If you feel like you could have contracted an STD, your instinct may be to get tested immediately, but this can be a huge mistake. Testing too early can cause inaccurate results, possibly leading you to believe youre STD-free when youre really not. This is because each STD has its own unique incubation period, which you must out wait in order to get accurate results. Like many things in life, timing is everything.
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