Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Anonymous on November 11, 2011

Where can I get HIV testing?

I’m interested in getting tested for HIV because I had a one night stand and didn’t use a condom. I feel stupid, but I just want to make sure I don’t have HIV. Where can I get HIV testing?

answered by
Lisa Oldson, MD on November 11, 2011

That’s a smart question and you’re doing the right thing.

Getting tested for HIV after unprotected sex is wise decision for your health. If your HIV test result is negative, it can help give you peace of mind. And if you test positive, you can talk with your doctor about when to start HIV treatment...which will help you stay healthier.

That said, where to get an HIV test depends on your preferences and also where you live. For example, many hospitals and doctor’s offices, county and city health clinics, and local sexual health clinics offer STD testing. If you’re looking for a convenient, private and confidential HIV testing experience, we also offer two HIV tests through this website, for your convenience.

What HIV tests do we offer?

  • The HIV Early Detection test is a great way to have accurate answers to your HIV status as soon as possible. This test may be able to detect HIV in the blood as early as 6 days after potential exposure to the virus…but our medical experts recommend waiting 21 days (3 weeks) to get the most reliable result.
  • The HIV Antibody test looks for your body’s immune response to HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection by looking for antibodies to HIV. To avoid testing too early, many physicians recommend testing around 4-6 weeks after a possible exposure. That said, most people with a new HIV infection will have a positive antibody test by 25 days after exposure and 97% will have a positive antibody test by 12 weeks.

Because you’re anxious about your recent exposure, the HIV Early Detection test may be a good choice for you. Remember that if you test positive with either HIV test, we confirm it with a second test and provide a doctor’s consultation. We want you to have the best care possible through our online clinic.

If you’d like to learn more about your HIV testing options, please visit our HIV and STD Testing page or you can call a care advisor for personalized assistance.

Thanks for your question and I hope you find the right HIV testing option for 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.

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