When to Get Tested for HIV?
You can test for HIV at any time. If you think you have put yourself at risk, then speak with a healthcare professional immediately. Even if you think that you have not put yourself at risk, testing regularly for HIV is still an important part of good sexual health.
I’m at risk, when should I test?
If you have had unprotected sex, shared injecting equipment or think that infected blood has got into your body, then you should talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional as soon as possible. They will be able to talk to you about your situation and risk, and decide on the best course of action.
Most modern HIV tests are now able to detect HIV from around 11 days after infection. Depending on the type of test you are offered and when your risk was, your doctor may ask you to come back for further tests and a follow-up before a true result can be given.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV, it is in this early stage of infection that you are most infectious to others. Be sure to be extra careful during this period – always use condoms and never share injecting equipment.
A word about window periods…
The window period refers to the time it takes for HIV to show up in a specific HIV test. The length of the window period will depend on the type of test you take. If you feel like you may be at risk of HIV, do not wait, speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible. The most important thing is to test. If you have tested negative but think you may have been exposed to HIV recently, you can take another test once the window period passes.
This article was posted in www.avert.org