Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is much more treatable than it used to be, but getting early treatment for this life-threatening disease requires an accurate, timely diagnosis. HIV testing is a sensitive issue, and many people feel a little awkward about getting tested. However, when you visit a walk-in clinic, you can rest assured that your personal information will be kept in strict confidence.
Am I at Risk of HIV Infection?
This is a good question to discuss with your doctor during a physical exam. If you’re at risk of getting HIV, your doctor will let you know how often you should get tested. Some of these risk factors include:
- A history of multiple sexual partners
- Sexual intercourse between two men
- A history of other STDs
- A history of hepatitis or tuberculosis
- Injected drug use and sharing of drug paraphernalia
- Sexual intercourse with someone who has any risk factors
- Sexual intercourse with someone whose medical history is unknown
- Sexual assault
I’m Not at a Higher Risk. Should I Still Get Tested?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to have at least one confidential HIV test at some point during their lifetime, as roughly one in seven people in the country have HIV without knowing it.
Can I Get Tested Even if I’m Pregnant?
Doctors recommend that all pregnant women get tested for HIV, even if they think they aren’t at risk. If a woman is HIV-positive, getting treatment as soon as possible can reduce the risk of passing the infection to the baby.
I Think I’ve Been Exposed to HIV. Can I Get Tested Right Away?
Unfortunately, the tests currently available cannot detect HIV right away. For most patients, it takes three to 12 weeks to develop detectable antibodies to the virus. However, you can see a doctor at any time for medical guidance and to find out when you should get tested.
When it’s time to get tested, you deserve compassionate, personalized care delivered by friendly professionals. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.