5 reasons why you
should get tested

Reason #1

Today's
guidelines say
that everyone
should get
tested for HIV

Reason #2

In the U.S., for
every 8 people
who have HIV,
one of them does
not know it

Reason #3

Testing is the
only way to
know if you
have HIV

Reason #4

No matter what your test results are, you can take steps to help protect your health

En Español


Who Should Get Tested?
Everyone.

Everyone between the ages of
13 and 64 should get tested for
HIV at least once.


HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GET TESTED?

Just getting tested once may not be enough. National guidelines from the CDC recommend retesting at least once a year for anyone at higher risk for getting HIV:

  • Men who have sex with men
  • People with more than 1 sexual partner
  • Transgender people who have sex with men
  • People who have recently had an STI
  • People who use injection drugs
The CDC also recommends regular retesting for sexually active gay and bisexual men. About every 3 to 6 months.

You should also get tested or retested if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.


3 REASONS TO
GET RETESTED

1. You should get retested if you have had anal or vaginal sex without a condom, or if you have shared injection drug equipment with someone who has HIV.

2. The CDC suggests retesting because of the "window period." This is the length of time between exposure to HIV and when HIV shows up on a test. This can take up to three months. So if your test result is negative, protect yourself and get retested after three months.

3. Retesting can help you feel more confident about your health.

Have more questions about testing guidelines? Talk to a healthcare provider.

You can also get answers from the CDC.

WHERE TO GET TESTED

You can ask a healthcare provider for an HIV test. Or you can visit a clinic, hospital, or community health center. Discuss your results, positive or negative, with a healthcare provider.

Many testing centers offer drop-in service and free HIV testing. Here is where to find one near you.

What Your Test Results Mean

HIV Positive

IF YOU DO HAVE HIV, find a healthcare provider to talk to. Resources and medicines are available to help you treat HIV. Starting and staying on treatment can help you live a longer and healthier life.

HIV Negative

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE HIV, you can stay that way. Use condoms and practice safer sex to protect yourself. Talk to your partners about their test results. Never share needles. Get retested regularly. And ask a healthcare provider about all the ways you can prevent HIV.

HIV & AIDS: What's the Difference?

HIV IS A VIRUS

Weakens the immune system
and causes inflammation and damage inside the body

Makes it harder for the body
to fight off diseases

When left untreated, HIV can
eventually lead to AIDS


AIDS IS A DISEASE

The most advanced stage of HIV infection

Occurs when a person's immune
system is badly damaged

Makes it easier for you to become sick

Makes it difficult for the body to fight off AIDS-related cancers and infections


HIV Can Lead to AIDS,

But It Does Not Have to Happen.

If you have HIV, take care of yourself. Talk to a healthcare provider.
There is no cure for HIV, but starting and sticking to treatment can help stop the virus in your body.

3 ways treatment can help

what's next?

These resources can help you
stop the virus.

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