Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Anonymous on November 23, 2011

Can you tell me more about how to test for HIV?

I don’t know what I have to do to get an HIV test. Can you tell me more about how to test for HIV?

answered by
Lisa Oldson, MD on November 23, 2011

That’s a great question and I’m happy to tell you a little more about HIV testing. But first, I want to commend you for learning more about how to get tested. Why? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend HIV screening for people who are 13- to 64 years old to identify HIV infections in people who aren’t aware of their infection.

Testing for HIV is simple. For example, we offer two HIV tests to choose from...depending on your needs. If you’re worried about a recent potential exposure to HIV, the HIV Early Detection Test may be right for you. Or if you’re interested in getting screened for HIV, the HIV Antibody test may be the best option.

When you test with us, you can arrange for your test online or by calling one of our Care Advisors. We’ll help you find a lab near you where you can have your blood drawn by a trained professional. Once you select a lab, you don’t need an appointment – just walk in during business hours when it’s convenient for you. (And, just so you know, you won’t need to undress to provide the blood sample.) 

After 3-5 business days, your test results will be available and we’ll send you a confidential email letting you know. Then you can log in to your private and secure test results through our website. It’s as easy as that. And, in case you have a positive test result, our doctors are available to counsel you on your next health steps.

Getting tested for HIV is a smart choice for your health. Whether or not you test with us, I encourage you to get tested. But we’re here to help you. To learn more about our HIV testing process, you may want to read our STD Testing Guide.

Thanks again for your great question and I hope we hear from you soon.

Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

Related Q&A's

How do I get tested for STDs?
What STD tests should we have before getting married?
How long after unprotected sex should I wait before getting an HIV test?