Why should you get tested?
It’s the only way to know for sure if you are HIV-positive.
If you’re positive, there are treatment options available.
Knowing can also help you prevent HIV from spreading by taking protective actions.
Who should get
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once. There are certain behaviors that put you at greater risk for contracting HIV—including having unprotected vaginal or anal sex, or sharing needles to inject drugs. If you do any of these things, you should be tested right away, and again every 3 to 6 months.
Talk to your healthcare provider about how often you should be tested. And if you don’t think you’re at risk, consider getting tested as part of your annual physical exam. You may be right, but why not know your status for sure?
How can you
There are a lot of ways to get the test done:
- You can ask a healthcare provider or hospital for an HIV test
- You can search local clinics or community health centers for free testing services
- You can go to National HIV and STD Testing Resources and enter your ZIP code to find locations
- You can call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) for free testing sites near you
- You can use a home HIV test that you can find in most pharmacies or online
166,000 people with HIV
had not been diagnosed*
*As of 2014.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov.
If your test comes back NEGATIVE
There are still some things you should do:
Ask your healthcare provider if you should be tested again and how frequently.
Ask your partner(s) to get tested too, so you know their status.
Make HIV testing a regular part of how you stay healthy.
BE A TEST
One of the best things you can do for your friends is encourage them to get tested, too. When they get tested, go with them to help provide support.