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Category: News

June 26, 2014

 

Take control of your health by knowing your HIV status on June 27th – National HIV Testing Day. If you've never been tested, take the first step out of the unknown by getting an HIV test. If you have been tested, remember that your results expire every time you engage in higher-risk sexual behaviors. Today and every day, it is critical to know your status!

Why is it important to know your status? 

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  • One in six people in the United States does not know that they have HIV.
  • If you are HIV positive, the earlier you know, the sooner you can begin treatment, which can prolong your life and control the spread of the disease to others. Early diagnosis of HIV can also prevent early onset of AIDS.
  • Getting an HIV test is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV.

Visit AIDS.gov to learn more about HIV/AIDS and why knowing your status is important.

What should I expect from an HIV test?

There are several different ways to test for HIV:

  1. An HIV antibody test checks for HIV antibodies in blood or saliva. Rapid tests deliver results in 30 minutes, but some tests require several days to weeks to produce results.
  2. An HIV RNA test can detect HIV in blood in as little as 9 to 11 days after infection. Results can take up to a few weeks to deliver.
  3. The Western blot test is a blood test that confirms the presence of HIV and usually follows one of the preliminary tests.
  4. An HIV home test can be purchased from a pharmacy or drugstore. These tests usually entail either mailing a blood or saliva sample to a lab.

Learn more about any of these testing options from AIDSinfo at the National Institutes of Health.

Where can you get tested?

Testing can be done at a number of places, including doctor's offices, health clinics, and AIDS-related service organizations. Find one near you.