What Should I Expect When I go in For an HIV Test?

By Andrea Leuser, BSN RN ACRN | Partners in Prevention (PIP) HIV Nurse Navigator

Taking the test is taking care of you. Your HIV testing experience might be a little different depending on where you get tested. Regardless, the decision to prioritize your health through taking proactive steps is a significant milestone that should be acknowledged and celebrated.

Who Should Get Tested for HIV?

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. People should get tested more often when they have had more than one sex partner or are having sex with someone whose sexual history they don’t know.

HIV Testing at a NOAH Healthcare Facility

A medical provider visit is required to get your HIV test at a NOAH healthcare facility. Your test can be part of your routine labs, or a point of care rapid test done by a fingerstick. Depending on the test you may be able to wait for results, but result times can vary.

Your health care provider or counselor may talk with you about your risk factors, answer any questions you might have, and discuss next steps with you.

Remember, there is no concept of a “wrong” outcome for an HIV test. Your value as an individual is not dependent on the result of the test.

How Much Will an HIV Test Cost?

As required by the Affordable Care Act, HIV screenings are covered by most health insurance and Medicaid programs.

Can an HIV Test Detect the Virus Immediately After Exposure?

No HIV test can detect HIV immediately after exposure. Discuss your risks with your healthcare provider and timing for getting your HIV test. Please note If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, talk to your health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), right away.

Now more than ever, people living with HIV can lead long healthy lives with proper treatment. For more details on HIV treatment and prevention, schedule an appointment with your NOAH provider today.