HIV testing is important to diagnosing the virus early and achieving better outcomes. Find out who should be tested and when, and where can you go for HIV testing.
In 2019, the prognosis for people diagnosed with HIV has improved dramatically compared to decades ago. With treatment, they can manage the virus and live long, healthy lives.
HIV testing is important to diagnosing the virus early and achieving better outcomes. Who should be tested and when, and where can you go for HIV testing?
Who should be tested for HIV and when?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between ages 13 and 64 get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) at least once.
More frequent testing is recommended for people who have certain risk factors for HIV. According to HIV.gov, sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing, such as every three to six months. You should be tested for HIV if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions about your risk since your last HIV test:
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had anal or vaginal sex with a partner who has HIV?
- Have you had more than one sex partner?
- Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works (for example, water or cotton) with others?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for, another sexually transmitted disease?
- Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
- Have you had sex with someone who could answer “yes” to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?
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For the HIV testing you need now
Locate a Norton Prompt Care at Walgreens location, Norton Immediate Care Center or Norton Healthcare primary care provider or emergency department.
Where to get a rapid HIV test and other HIV testing options
There are different options for HIV testing and a number of places where you can get an HIV test.
A rapid HIV test is a screening test that detects the presence of antibodies to the virus. It is usually done with blood from a finger stick or with fluid from a mouth swab. The results from a rapid HIV test are available in about 30 minutes.
Norton Prompt Care at Walgreens locations offer rapid HIV tests, and they have extended evening and weekend hours. At-home HIV tests also are available. You will need follow-up testing if you get a positive result from a rapid HIV or at-home test.
Other testing options include laboratory tests that use blood drawn from a vein. The blood is sent to a lab for testing, and results are available in a couple of days. Laboratory-based testing is available through your Norton Healthcare primary care provider and at Norton Immediate Care Centers and Norton Healthcare hospital emergency departments.
People who receive a positive HIV test result at any Norton Healthcare location may be referred to Norton Infectious Disease Specialists, which provides a medical home and confidential, respectful care for people with HIV.