Get Tested. Stay Protected.
Common Test-Related Questions:
Q: Why should I get tested for HIV?
A: Consider the risk you put your partner(s) at if you don’t know your own HIV status, or if you are HIV positive. The only way to tell if you have HIV is by taking an HIV test. The advantages of knowing your HIV status are:
• To protect others – You can prevent infecting others if you find out you are HIV positive,
• To protect yourself – You can seek medical treatment to keep yourself healthy.
Q: How long after a possible exposure should I wait to get tested for HIV?
A: The tests commonly used to detect HIV infection are actually looking for the antibodies produced by your body to fight HIV, rather than HIV itself. So it’s suggested that you wait 3 months after a possible exposure to take the test. This will allow your body to develop more HIV antibodies if you have been exposed and will make for an accurate test result. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 months of the initial exposure, with the average being about 25 days. In rare cases, it can take up to 6 months for detectable antibodies to develop. It’s very important during the 3-6 months between a possible exposure and taking the HIV test that you protect yourself and others from further possible exposures to HIV. Engaging in only protected sex and not sharing needles is recommended.