Video Q & A:

HIV

Question:

How do I get an HIV test?

Expert:   Harry Fisch, M.D., New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University »

If you've EVER had unprotected sex, OR shared hypodermic needles, you should get tested for HIV. Watch this to learn about your testing options.

Transcript: If you’ve EVER had unprotected sex, OR shared hypodermic needles, you should get tested for HIV. First, figure out WHERE to get tested. Luckily, there are thousands of testing locations across the country, including health clinics, government funded HIV testing sites, hospitals, or your doctor’s office. OR, check out HIV-TEST DOT ORG [show URL on-screen] which shows you testing locations based on your zip code. Your test center will keep your information anonymous and private. There are two types of tests available to you. A blood test, which is the most common AND most accurate, or an enzyme immunoassay test, known as EIA, where a fluid sample is swabbed from the inside of the mouth or a urine sample is taken and sent out for testing. You’ll normally see results within two weeks, but if you test POSITIVE, you’ll need a second test to confirm. If you need FASTER results, there’s a rapid test that can deliver results in about ten minutes, but these tests aren’t readily available everywhere. OR you can HOME TEST. The FDA has approved one brand for home-testing -- the Home Access HIV-1 Test System, which requires you to mail in a blood sample. ALL HIV tests are MOST accurate about three months after infection, once the virus has a chance to take root in your body. If you know you’re at risk of HIV, get yourself tested. It’s better to know. More »

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