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You can get tested for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This test checks for HIV antibodies and antigens in your blood. If they are found, the test is positive.
If HIV antibodies or antigens are not found, you may need a repeat test to be sure the results are correct. If a repeat test at 3 months is negative, there is no infection.
In some cases, HIV antibodies or antigens don't appear right after exposure. They may not be found for up to 3 months. During this time, an infected person can still spread the virus.
After your test, be sure to tell your doctor how and where to contact you. If you don't hear from your doctor in 1 to 2 weeks after your test, call and ask for your results.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Your doctor may ask you to come back to talk about your results. This may happen no matter what your results say. It does not always mean that you have HIV.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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