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How Do I Know if I Have HIV?

Most people can't tell if they have been exposed or infected and the HIV test will only be able to confirm that you are HIV positive around 6-12 weeks.

However, soon after possible exposure, you may develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, or rash. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, look out for these kinds of symptoms and visit your doctor as soon as possible. If you believe you have put yourself at risk of contracting HIV, you are also at risk of passing on HIV to others. Using condoms consistently and correctly will prevent you for passing on HIV.

The only certain way to know if you are infected with HIV is take an HIV test. If you are infected, your immune system will create antibodies to fight the virus. The HIV test can detect these antibodies and if you have them in your blood, it means that you have contracted HIV.

Do I Need to Get Tested for HIV?

It is estimated that more than 25% of HIV+ people are unaware of their HIV status. Many of these people look and feel healthy and do not think they are at risk.

You should be tested if:

  • You have had vaginal or anal sex without a condom
  • You have shared needles or syringes to inject drugs (including steroids or hormones)
  • You are uncertain of your partner's status or your partner is HIV+
  • You are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant
  • You have ever been diagnosed with an STI (sexually transmitted disease)
  • You have hepatitis B or C
  • You have lived in high prevalence countries (sub-Saharan Africa) and have put yourself at risk
  • You have been diagnosed with TB

What are the Benefits of Getting Tested?

If you test HIV positive, we can help provide effective medicine to treat you however you cannot get the appropriate treatment if you do not know your HIV status. Being unaware of your status also makes it more likely to pass HIV on to others.

If your HIV test proves negative, you can take steps to stay that way by using condoms consistently and correctly.

Do you have Symptoms?

If you have symptoms you should get yourself tested to avoid infection developing and from transferring it to someone else.

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