HIV Testing Sites
For the location of HIV testing sites in your area, click one of the links below. You do not have to be tested at the location nearest to your home. Some testing centers offer anonymous testing. Other places have confidential testing.
- HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. It lives in blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.
- To get HIV, one of these infected fluids has to get inside your body.
- People with HIV can look and feel healthy for a long time.
- Even if he or she looks and feels well, a person can have HIV and pass the virus to others.
- Many "healthy looking" people have HIV and don't even know they have it.
The HIV test
- You can get tested at a doctor's office, a public health clinic, a family planning clinic, or an HIV testing center.
- Some places offer free testing.
- Some charge up to $100.HIV usually takes up to three months to show up on a test.
What are the reasons to get tested?
- You are worried that you may have HIV
- You are thinking about having sex with a new partner, and you want to be sure that neither of you has HIV
- You are pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant, and want to know if the baby has a chance of getting HIV
- You are thinking about joining a group that requires testing, such as the Job Corps or military.
Are you at risk?
If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you are at risk for HIV, and may want to be tested:
- Have I ever had sex without using a latex condom?
- Have I ever shared needles to inject drugs, vitamins or steroids, for body piercing or tattooing?
What happens during the test?
Before the test, a counselor may talk with you. He or she will explain the test, and what you can do to keep yourself healthy. A health worker will take a little blood from your arm, use a cotton swab to rub some cells from the inside of your mouth, or ask for a urine sample. The sample will be sent to a lab. Results can take about two weeks. You will return to the test site to get your results.
A negative test result means either you don't have HIV, or you have HIV, but it's too soon for the test to show it.
(If you had unsafe sex or shared needles in the three to six months before your test, it may be too soon to get an accurate result. You need to be tested again.)
A negative test does not mean you can't get HIV in the future. You can get HIV anytime you have unsafe sex or share needles for any reason.
A positive test result means you have HIV. If your test is positive, two things are very important:
See a health care provider right away. Early treatment can help you stay healthy longer.
Find support. Friends, family, and/or an AIDS/HIV support group will help you live healthy with HIV.