How Long Do I Have To Wait Before Having An HIV Test?

Question

How long do I have to wait before having an HIV test?

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Haruna Kwandi Mathias 11 months 1 Answer 142 views Active Member 1

Answer ( 1 )

  1. The only way to find out if you have HIV is to have an HIV test, as symptoms of HIV may not appear for many years. Anyone who thinks they could have HIV should get tested.
    HIV testing is provided to anyone free of charge on the NHS. Many clinics can give you the result on the same day. Home testing and home sampling kits are also available.
    Certain groups of people are at particularly high risk and are advised to have regular tests:

    • men who have sex with men are advised to have an HIV test at least once a year, or every 3 months if they’re having unprotected sex with new or casual partners
    • Black African men and women are advised to have an HIV test, and a regular HIV and STI screen, if they’re having unprotected sex with new or casual partners.

    Other people at an increased risk of infection include those who share needles, syringes or other injecting equipment.

    When to get tested

    Seek medical advice immediately if you think there’s a chance you could have HIV. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming seriously ill.
    Some HIV tests may need to be repeated 1-3 months after exposure to HIV infection, but you shouldn’t wait this long to seek help.
    Your GP or a sexual health professional can talk to you about having a test and discuss whether you should take emergency HIV medication.
    Anti-HIV medication called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may stop you becoming infected if taken within 72 hours of being exposed to the virus. 

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