Why should I get tested for HIV?

The frequency or the number of HIV tests at a given time also varies. For example, HIV testing can be added to the annual routine health check, but those exposed to risky behaviors should get tested more often.

Am I at risk of getting HIV?

Anyone who engages in risky behavior is at risk of contracting HIV. Risky behavior in particular includes:

• Having anal or vaginal sex without a condom, regardless of sexual preference
• Having multiple sexual partners
• Having sex while diagnosed with, or treated for other forms of sexually transmitted infections
• Sharing of needles, syringes, and other drug injection paraphernalia

Why should I get tested for HIV?

Getting tested is knowing your HIV status, which is a responsible way to keep yourself and your partner healthy. It would help prevent the virus from spreading. It would also help in the treatment and care of newly diagnosed person living with HIV (PLHIV).

How often should I get tested for HIV?

Those who are actively having sex will benefit from frequent HIV testing at least once every 3 to 6 months. The at-risk factors will help healthcare providers determine the HIV testing options and frequency.

Can I get HIV-testing if I am pregnant?

Yes, pregnant people should get tested for HIV. Early HIV testing can lead to immediate HIV treatment, which can:

• Decrease the number of babies born with HIV.
• Lower HIV transmission risk to unborn babies.
• If in doubt, pregnant people who test negative can take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

How fast can I get my HIV test results?

How quickly or slowly the test results will be received depends on the type of HIV test. Test results can be obtained within 20 to 30 minutes, while other types of tests may take several days.

Will I know my HIV status immediately after exposure?

No. A window period will exist from the time you have been exposed to HIV and until a HIV test can detect HIV in your body. The window period depends on the type of HIV testing and could range from 10 to 33 days. If in doubt, you can take post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) at least within 72 hours from exposure.

Types of HIV tests

Antibody tests use blood to detect HIV. It can take about 20 minutes to know the results.

Antigen/antibody tests use blood to detect HIV and are done in facility-based testing centers. It can take 20-30 minutes to know the results.

Nucleic Acid Tests (NAT) use blood to test HIV and viral load. It can take a few days to know HIV results.

Source: Department of Health Administrative Order 2017-0019 ‘Policies and Guidelines in the Conduct of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing Services (HTS) in Health Facilities.’

HIV Testing Process

Consent for HIV Test

All those who will have an HIV test should sign a written informed consent form and counseling.


The client’s information is confidential, and privacy is ensured.


Pre and post-counseling is given before and after HIV testing.

Correct Results

Accurate HIV testing is crucial to ensure health and safety.

Connection to Care

Clients will be linked to prevention, treatment care, and support services.