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HIV Testing - Where to Get Your HIV Test

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Updated July 13, 2007

Question: HIV Testing - Where to Get Your HIV Test
We all know how important HIV testing is. Simply put, without knowing if you are infected you can't get the treatment that will save your life. In short, HIV testing is a must. But where can you get your HIV test? This guide will help you find a place where you can get HIV tested.

Answer:
HIV testing sites are spread out all over the country. In large cities, rural areas, in hospitals and in clinics, HIV testing is available. The key is trying to find the HIV testing site that best suits you.

Testing is Not Enough - You Also Need HIV Test Counseling.

When you are looking for an HIV testing site, it's important to find a testing site that also provides HIV test counseling before and after your test. Certified HIV test counselors provide important information about safer sex, HIV risk reduction, and how to incorporate those things into your relationship. The also help explain your results and what they mean for your future. If you are HIV positive they are trained to assist in those first hours and days after learning of your diagnosis. Finally, test counselors will help you get into HIV care as soon after your results as possible.

Whether your test is positive or negative, test counselors are a very important part of the testing process. So much so that some states require HIV testing professionals to be certified in pre and post-test counseling. In addition, they can help you understand the meaning of the test results and describe what AIDS-related resources are available in the local area.

Important Fact!
Make sure you choose a testing site that has pre and post test counseling on site.

Find a Testing Site - Use the CDC Hotline

The CDC National AIDS Hotline can answer questions about testing and can refer you to testing sites in your area.
    The CDC HIV Testing Hotline
    • English
      (800)342-2437

    • Spanish
      (800)344-7432

    • Deaf TTY
      (800)243-7889

Home Test Kits May Be an Option

Home test kits were first licensed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997. Home test kits can be found at your local pharmacy or ordered from the Internet.

Important Warning!
The accuracy of some home test kits are in question. Experts recommend buying your test kit form your local pharmacy where you can be assisted by a licensed pharmacist. Talk to your local HIV agency or call the CDC Hotline to get a list of reliable, approved test kits.

All Home Test Kits Are Not Created Equal

Home HIV testing involves pricking your finger with the special lancet provided in the kit. Blood droplets are placed on the specially treated test card. The card is mailed to the processing lab as instructed in the kit. Home test kit users are given an identification number to use when phoning for the test results. Some home test kits provide contact information that allows users to call test counselors before taking the test; while waiting for the test result; and after getting the result.

Important Information!
After pricking your finger with the lancet, dispose of the sharp lancet according to the directions provided. Do not discard the lancet in your trash or other places that may put others at risk for a needle stick.

More Important Information!
Follow the kit directions exactly for the most reliable results.

More HIV Testing Resources.

  1. About.com
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  3. AIDS / HIV
  4. HIV/AIDS FAQs
  5. Testing & Prevention FAQ
  6. HIV Testing - AIDS Testing - Where Can I Get Tested for HIV?

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