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HIV/AIDS

Do You Know If You Are Infected?

The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 gets tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner(s) healthy.

Should I Get Tested for HIV?

Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once. If your behaviour puts you at risk after you are tested, you should think about being tested again. Some people at higher risk should get tested more often.

If your last HIV test result was negative, you should get an HIV test if you answer "yes" to any of the questions below about your risk since that test:

  • Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
  • Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner?
  • Have you had more than one sex partner?
  • Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works (for example, water or cotton) with others?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for, another sexually transmitted disease?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
  • Have you had sex with someone who could answer "yes" to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don't know?

How Can Testing Help Me?

The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.

Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner(s) healthy.

  • If you test positive, you can take medicine to treat HIV to stay healthy for many years and greatly reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to your sex partner(s).
  • If you test negative, you have more prevention tools available today to prevent HIV than ever before.
  • If you are pregnant, you should be tested for HIV so that you can begin treatment if you're HIV-positive. If an HIV-positive woman is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be very low.

Should I Get Tested for HIV If I Don't Think I'm At High Risk?

Some people who test positive for HIV were not aware of their risk. That's why it is recommended that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 gets tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and that people with certain risk factors should get tested more often (see above).

Even if you are in a monogamous relationship (both you and your partner are having sex only with each other), you should find out for sure whether you or your partner has HIV.

Should I Get For HIV If I'm Pregnant?

All pregnant women should be tested for HIV so that they can begin treatment if they're HIV-positive. If a woman is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be very low. Testing pregnant women for HIV infection, treating those who are infected, and treating their babies with antiretroviral therapy (ART) after delivery has led to a big decline in the number of children born with HIV.

The treatment is most effective for preventing HIV transmission to babies when started as early as possible during pregnancy. If pregnant women are treated for HIV early in their pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to their baby can be 1% or less. However, there are still great health benefits to beginning preventive treatment even during labour or shortly after the baby is born.