Tell me about HIV testing.
Our doctors have selected the HIV Antibody Test with Confirmation (also known as the EIA or ELISA test). This FDA-approved blood test looks for the antibodies to HIV and is the “gold standard” for HIV screening. If you get tested before there are enough antibodies to detect, you may get a “false negative” result even if you have new HIV infection. If you are concerned about a recent sexual encounter, the HIV Early Detection Test can detect HIV sooner than the HIV Antibody Test.
Is this a Blood Test or a Urine Test?
The HIV Antibody Test is a blood test. When you get to the lab, the lab technician will draw one small tube of blood. There's no need to get undressed or have any uncomfortable swabbing.
Will I Need to Fast or Prepare for the Test?
There is no preparation needed for the HIV Antibody Blood Test. You do not need to fast.
Is HIV Treatable?
Although there is no cure for HIV, a lot has changed in the world of HIV treatment. These days we have powerful anti-retroviral medications to manage HIV infections that are so successful that often people with HIV are dealing with health issues related to aging more than complications from HIV. We talk about living with HIV, not dying from it, and we like to remind those with new HIV infections that they should not stop saving for retirement.
Who Should Be Tested for HIV?
Anyone can get the HIV virus by having sex with an infected person, sharing needles with an infected person, or even from childbirth. HIV is not transmitted by touching or by toilet seats. You cannot get if from sharing towels or shaking hands. HIV is found in people of all sexual orientations and ages. In fact, the highest numbers of newly acquired case of HIV have been found in middle-aged adults ages 35 to 44.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone age 13 - 64 be tested for HIV. Consider HIV testing as part of routine STD screening, especially if you have had unprotected sex with someone whose STD status you do not know or are concerned about.
What Will the Test Results Tell Me?
HIV Antibody Test results are either positive or negative. Negative means no signs of HIV were found. A positive HIV Antibody Test result means that signs of HIV were found, but a confirmation test should be run before making a diagnosis.
If your test result comes back positive the laboratory automatically runs a confirmation. Experts agree that another test should be run on a new blood sample before making a formal diagnosis of HIV and we believe all physicians should follow this recommendation.
Positive test results for HIV show an infection with the virus that causes AIDS. It does NOT mean that you have AIDS. If your test is positive, one of our physicians will talk with you about your results and arrange for you to see a local HIV specialist who can guide you regarding additional testing, treatment and next steps, if appropriate.
If you have
- never been tested...
- had more than 1 partner...
- had unprotected sex since your last test...
Or if you are
- only concerned about a recent sexual encounter and want to get tested for a new infection...
- Our doctors recommend testing in 2 weeks and then again in 6 weeks for the most accurate results.
- FDA-approved or gold standard diagnostic tests performed at CLIA-certified labs.
- Results usually in 3 business days or less
- Confidential and secure treatment of your information
- Speak with a Care Advisor 6am-10pm CT, 7 days a week
- Discuss your results with a doctor, when appropriate
- Treatment or referral available, when appropriate