Since its discovery in June 1981, HIV has been one of the most deadly viruses on the
planet. According to the CDC HIV/AIDS is the 4th deadliest virus/disease in the
world. HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is like the flu virus but the human body
is unable to completely clear out the virus. Once you contract HIV you have the virus
for life, HIV will continue to attack the body’s T-cells/CD4 cells and over time, the
body will no longer be able to fight infection.
It’s important to know how often you should be tested for HIV to keep yourself safe,
prevention can save your life.
Importance of Getting Tested
• Getting tested is the only way to know for sure you’re not infected. To most people
there are few symptoms of the virus.
• There is a window period where those who have recently contracted HIV will show
negative; this period can last from 2-8 weeks, the longest being 3 months.
• HIV tests detect antibodies; these don’t develop until after the window period.
• For those with concerns of a recent infection, a PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis)
regimen can prevent the contraction of HIV.
How Often Should Someone Get Tested?
• It is recommended that patients be tested yearly for HIV between
the ages of 13-64.
• Patients who share needles of other equipment should be tested
every 3-6 months.
• Pregnant women in both the first and third trimester.
It is possible to lead a full life with HIV, but prevention is always a better option. Get
tested so you know your status. Help stop this deadly virus from spreading. To find a
local testing facility near you, use the government locator tool http://aids.gov/locator/