Should I get tested for HIV?

People with certain risk factors should get tested more often. If you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested and answer yes to any of the following questions, you should get an HIV test because these things increase your chances of getting HIV:

You should be tested at least once a year if you keep doing any of these things. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).

Knowing your HIV status helps protect your health and your partners.

Facts about HIV testing

  • Anonymous HIV testing is available. If you do not provide your name, you will be given a code number and asked to return the following week for the test results. Another test may be needed. Anonymous HIV testing is 99.6 per cent accurate three months after a risk exposure.
  • Rapid HIV testing is also available. Results can be provided immediately, but another test may be needed. For this test, you must provide a name, date of birth and, if possible, a phone number and address. Rapid HIV testing is 95 per cent accurate 34 days after risk exposure and 99.6 per cent accurate three months after a risk exposure.
  • Both tests require pre and post-test counselling.
  • A blood sample is taken by a finger prick (rapid HIV test) or a standard drawing of blood (anonymous test).
  • A nurse can help you decide which test is right for you and also answer your questions. Both tests are confidential.