Frequently asked HIV questions
Which tests are available?
The testing centers we work with currently offer both the HIV antibody test and the early detection HIV DNA and PCR test.
How does getting tested work?
Purchase your test by using our website, or by speaking to one of our care advisors over the phone. Then, come into the lab nearest you, at your earliest convenience, to get tested. You don't even need an appointment.
Is it necessary to get tested?
Getting tested for HIV and STDs is a very important part of maintaining your sexual health. HIV is not just a sexually transmitted disease, but can also be transmitted solely from the exchange of bodily fluids like blood, semen, or breast milk. You should get tested for HIV if you have engaged in activities that involve the exchange of these fluids with a partner who has HIV or may have HIV. Doctors recommend that all regularly sexually active people be tested for STDs at least once a year. You should definitely get tested if you have never been tested, your partner has never been tested, or you've had multiple sexual partners.
I believe that I was recently exposed to HIV or an STD. When should I get tested?
There are two ways to screen for HIV: the HIV Antibody Test and the Early Detection Test. Each method has a different testing window.
The most common type of HIV testing is the HIV Antibody Test, which is a blood test that screens for antibodies to HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the average time it takes for detectable HIV antibodies to develop is 25 days. In some cases, it may take longer. If you get tested within the first 3 months after exposure and if there are not enough antibodies to detect, you may get a "false negative" result. We recommend getting re-tested after 3 months to get the most accurate results.
The Early Detection test makes it possible to detect HIV as soon as 6 days after exposure. However, our doctors recommend using the Early Detection Test a full 2 weeks after exposure to get the most accurate results. If the test is positive, the results should be confirmed by a re-test.
If you are certain that you have been exposed to HIV or Heptatitis B in the last 72 hours, please go to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic immediately to get preventive treatment.
Do I need to do anything to prepare?
There is no preparation needed for HIV testing. You do not need to fast.
When will I receive my test results?
Your test results may be ready within 3 business days, sometimes sooner.
How will I know about my results?
We will send you an email regarding your results. This email will contain secure login information that you can use to view your results online.
After I get my results, what are my options?
If your test results are positive, one of our physicians will be available to speak with you over the phone about your results and arrange for you to see a local HIV specialist for further treatment and next steps.