Testing for HIV has become faster and more convenient. Here are some of the most common questions we hear people ask about HIV testing. Talking about what risks you've taken can help you decide whether testing is right for you.
Certain activities and behaviors increase your risk for HIV/AIDS.
Many health care providers now offer rapid HIV testing.
A rapid test can use an oral swab or blood from a vein or finger prick. However, rapid test results that show a person has HIV need to be confirmed with a follow-up test.
The government recommends that all pregnant women be tested for HIV, as part of their normal prenatal care.
If a woman has HIV while pregnant, she can work with her health care provider to help reduce the risk that her baby will have HIV, too.
It may be important to you to know the difference between those two terms when you choose a clinic for the test.
"Anonymous" testing is not available in some states, so when you schedule an appointment, ask if it is available in your state.
It may be best to arrange to take the test where you will be able to talk with someone, ask questions, and get information before and after you are tested.
If you decide to be tested, talk about your plans with someone you trust, someone who will be there for you when you get the results — especially if it's not good news.
If HIV antibodies are present, it means that a person is infected with HIV. But RNA testing can detect HIV much earlier than antibody tests — in as little as 9 to 11 days after infection.