Five Minutes or Less for Health Weekly Tip: Get an HIV Test

get an HIV testHIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system. This virus causes AIDS. Testing is an essential first step in protecting yourself and others from HIV infection.
CDC recommends that all Americans between the ages of 13-64 be tested for HIV at least once as part of regular medical care. Others at greater risk (such as those who have more than one sex partner, who inject drugs, or who are men who have sex with other men) should get tested once a year or more often.

  • You can get tested at a clinic or your health provider’s office. Ask your provider about getting tested.
  • Learn about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
  • For additional testing sites (including many that offer free and confidential testing), call 800-CDC-INFO or visit www.hivtest.orgExternal. You can also text your ZIP Code to KNOW IT (5-6-6-9-4-8).

If you learn you are HIV-positive, you can then take steps to protect your partners and receive treatment.

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Page last reviewed: October 26, 2015