Skip to content

    HIV & AIDS Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    HIV Screening - Topic Overview

    Getting tested for HIV can be scary, but the condition is treatable. So it is important to get tested if you think you have been exposed. Early detection and monitoring of HIV will help your doctor find out whether the disease is getting worse and when to start treatment.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone should get tested for HIV as part of their regular medical care. Also, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening tests for HIV:1

    Recommended Related to HIV/AIDS

    Understanding HIV/AIDS -- the Basics

    AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) isn't a disease in itself; rather, AIDS is a condition that develops when a person's body has been weakened by HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus). HIV is found in blood and sexual fluids and spreads mainly through unprotected sexual contact and the sharing of hypodermic needles and equipment. When a person becomes infected with HIV, it damages his or her immune system, leading to immunodeficiency; the immune system can no longer fight off common germs...

    Read the Understanding HIV/AIDS -- the Basics article > >

    • As part of regular medical care for people 15 to 65 years old.
    • For all pregnant women.
    • For people younger than 15 and older than 65 if they have a high risk for HIV, such as for people who engage in high-risk behavior.

    You and your doctor can decide if testing is right for you.

    You can get HIV testing in most doctors' offices, public health clinics, hospitals, and Planned Parenthood clinics. You can also buy a home HIV test kit in a drugstore or by mail order. But be very careful to choose only a test that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If a home test is positive, see a doctor to have the result confirmed and to find out what to do next.

    For more information, see the topic HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Infection.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    misconception
    How much do you know?
    contemplative man
    What to do now.
     
    research
    Should you be tested?
    HIV under microscope
    What does it mean?
     
    HIV AIDS Screening
    Slideshow
    man opening condom wrapper
    Quiz
     
    HIV AIDS Treatment
    Feature
    Discrimination Stigma
    Feature
     
    Treatment Side Effects
    Feature
    grilled chicken and vegetables
    Article
     
    obese man standing on scale
    Article
    cold sore
    Article