After an HIV Test
I tested negative. Now what?
If you tested negative, keep in mind that a negative test result may not always be accurate. HIV infection has a window period, so if you were exposed less than 3 months before your most recent test, make an appointment to get retested 3 months out from your potential original exposure. Also, remember that you can prevent HIV by practicing abstinence or mutual monogamy with a trusted partner, using condoms every time you have sex (and for every sex act—anal, oral, or vaginal) or not sharing needles and other drugs works (commonly referred to as paraphenial). If you use drugs and alcohol, seek help.
I tested positive. What should I do now?
Studies have shown that EIA (blood) and Rapid HIV tests are highly accurate when they show an HIV-positive result. Still, anyone who has a positive EIA (blood) or Rapid HIV test needs to have another test to confirm his or her diagnosis.
If you test positive, the first thing you need to do is breathe. Even though there is no cure for HIV, it can be managed. That means that with proper treatment, you can live a productive life. However, you have to take responsibility for managing your health and protecting your partners.
Before your doctor's visit, you should
Share This Site
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Page maintained by: Prevention Communication Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) 8AM-8PM ET, Monday-Friday, Closed Holidays