HIV Testing FAQs
Who should get tested for HIV?
All adolescents and adults who have had ever had sexual intercourse should be tested for HIV. Men who have sex with men, people who use injection drugs, and men or women with multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom use are at increased risk of exposure to HIV and should get tested on a regular basis — once or twice a year. Others with lower or moderate risk should consider testing every three to five years. A clinician discuss risks and advise on how often a student should be tested.
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV or other STIs through unprotected sex or from infected needles, we encourage you to come to UHS for testing. Be aware that HIV tests are most reliable about one month after exposure, as it takes time for the virus to be detectable in the body. If you’ve recently had unprotected sex with a partner who has HIV infection, you should contact us immediately. In some cases, preventive antiviral medication may be recommended.
What types of tests are available?
The current HIV screening test used at UHS is a combination assay that tests for both HIV p24 antigen and HIV 1 and HIV 2 antibody. The test is extremely accurate and will detect new HIV infection about three to four weeks after exposure. Test results will be available two to three business days after your visit.
Do I have to get my test at the Sexual Health Clinic?
No. At UHS, students may receive confidential HIV screening at both the Women’s Clinic and Primary Care Clinic. Tests are often done in association with another reason for a clinic visit. The lab test is the same test used in the Sexual Health Clinic.
What if I need to take an HIV test for a travel visa or program?
If HIV screening is required for a visa, other travel program, employment or the military, and if documentation is necessary for the program, you need a confidential (not anonymous) test. When scheduling an appointment, please mention that you need an HIV test for travel purposes. There is a charge for this visit.