If you’ve ever had unprotected sex or shared hypodermic needles, you should get tested for HIV.
There are thousands of testing facilities throughout the US, including health clinics, government-funded HIV testing sites, hospitals, or your doctor’s office. You can also check out HIVtest.org, which lets you search testing facilities by zip code. Your test center will keep your information anonymous and private.
There are two kinds of HIV tests available:
- An enzyme immunoassay test (EIA) looks for antibodies to HIV in samples of blood, urine, or oral fluid
- A rapid test that produces results within 20 minutes and looks for antibodies in a sample of blood or oral fluid
You can test yourself at home, too. With the Home Access HIV-1 Test System, you use a special device to prick a finger. You put drops of blood on a specially treated card which you mail in to a laboratory. You then call in to get your results. Home tests are most accurate at three months after infection, when the virus has taken root in your body.
Learn more about different HIV tests in the below video: