Be a Force for Change

Resource Booklet
American Association for World Health

Fact Sheet

HIV Testing

Although it is estimated that between 650,000 and 900,000 Americans are currently infected with HIV, it has been estimated that only one fifth to one third of the U.S. adult population has been tested for the disease. Hundreds of thousands of American adults may be unaware of their HIV status and continue to engage in behavior that could jeopardize their health and that of many others.

All sexually active adolescents and adults, particularly African Americans, Latinos and MSM; any injection drug users; and any pregnant women who fall into high-risk groups, should be tested for HIV. For more information on HIV testing or HIV/AIDS, please contact the CDC National AIDS Hotline: 1-800-342-AIDS; Spanish: 1-800-344-SIDA; hearing impaired: 1-800-243-7889 (TTY).

Testing Centers

HIV testing is available at most hospitals, family planning or sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics, community health centers, drug treatment facilities, and doctors' offices. Most testing sites offer free or inexpensive tests. Contact your local health department for testing centers in your area.

Privacy and Testing

It is important for anyone having an HIV test to understand the confidentiality policies of the testing center. Testing facilities offer two types of test procedures: confidential and anonymous.

Available Tests
(all may not be available at all sites)

1. Antibody Blood Tests

2. Home Testing Kits

3. Oral Testing for HIV

HIV Test Results

HIV tests can identify HIV antibodies in the blood as early as two weeks after infection, but the body may take up to six months to make a measurable amount of antibodies. The average time is 25 days.

Anyone who receives an HIV test should seek counseling before and after the test in order to understand the results, discuss prevention methods, and, if necessary, discuss drug treatment options.

National HIV Testing Day is June 27, 1999 -- Get your community involved!

For more information, contact the National Association of People with AIDS at (202) 898-0414.