About HIV Testing
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
How soon after sex should I test for HIV?
The window period for HIV is 3 months. This is the time between coming into contact with HIV and when a test is able to detect it.
If you’re particularly anxious about having come into contact with HIV, come in and test at 6 weeks and then again at 3 months for a confirmation. But also know that living with HIV isn’t as scary as it used to be, and we’ll be able to support you whatever the result.
How often should I test for HIV?
Usually, testing every 3 to 12 months is appropriate, depending on how much sex you’re having. A good general rule is to test closer to every 3 months the more active you are.
How does RAPID test for HIV?
RAPID uses the Alere HIV Combo test, which is a 4th-generation device. The test involves collecting a small amount of blood from your finger, and it only takes 20 minutes to get a result.
The testing device looks for two things in your blood: HIV itself and the chemicals (antibodies) your body makes when it's there. These two things show up at different times, but at first, there isn’t enough of either for the test to work. So, the day after you might have come into contact with HIV is too soon to test. We suggest testing at 6 weeks after.