5 reasons why you
should get tested

Reason #1

guidelines say
that everyone
should get
tested for HIV

Reason #2

In the U.S., for
every 7 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

With or without
HIV, you can live
a long and
healthy life

Who should get tested for HIV

Who Should Get Tested?

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


Just getting tested once may not be enough. National guidelines from the CDC recommend testing once a year if you

  • Are a man who has sex with men
  • Have many sexual partners
  • Have sex with someone whose HIV status
    you do not know
  • Have a sexually transmitted disease
  • Have been treated for a sexually transmitted disease
  • Use injection drugs
  • Have sex with someone whose sexual, medical, or drug history you do not know
  • Are pregnant or may become pregnant

The CDC also suggests:
Testing every 3 to 6 months
for sexually active gay and bisexual men.


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 helps you track your status and take care of
your health.


You can ask your healthcare provider for an HIV test. Testing is also available at clinics, hospitals, and community health centers. Discuss your results, positive or negative, with your 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. Treatment can help you live a long and healthy life.

HIV Negative

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE HIV, you can stay that way. Use condoms and 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?


Weakens the immune system
and causes damage inside the body

Makes it harder for the body
to fight off diseases

When left untreated, HIV can
eventually lead to AIDS


The most advanced stage of HIV infection

Occurs when a person’s immune
system is badly damaged

Causes inflammation and makes it harder
for the body to fight off AIDS-related
infections and certain cancers

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 about HIV treatment. And 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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