The only way to know your HIV status is by getting tested. Knowing your status will help you make decisions to prevent you from getting or transmitting HIV. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 to 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.
Should I get tested for HIV?
Yes! CDC recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once and people at higher risk should get tested more often.
Who will pay for my HIV test?
HIV screening is covered by health insurance without a co-pay, as required by the Affordable Care Act. If you do not have medical insurance, some testing sites may offer free tests.
What should I expect when I go in for an HIV test?
Your health care provider or counselor may talk with you about your risk factors, answer any questions you might have, and discuss next steps with you, especially if your result is positive.
- Expect to be tested either by a blood sample, oral fluid, or finger stick. If the provider or counselor indicates it is a rapid test you may be able to wait for the results, but if your sample is sent to a laboratory, it may take several days for the results to be available.
- If the test comes back negative, and you haven’t had a possible exposure during the window period for the test you took, you can be confident you don’t have HIV.
- If your test result is positive, the lab will conduct follow-up testing, usually on the same blood sample as the first test.
Where do I get tested for HIV?
Ask your health care provider if they are able to provide an HIV test or you can find a testing site near you by clicking on the box below.