Getting tested for HIV

If you know you have HIV, you can get the treatment and care you need to stay healthy and avoid passing it on to others.

If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, it is important to get tested.

The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. The HIV test is a simple blood test.


After HIV enters the body, it may take time before the test can detect the virus (this is known as the window period). Different HIV tests have different window periods. Some tests can detect HIV as early as 14 days and all tests give accurate results by three months.

Don’t wait. Speak to a health-care provider about getting tested for HIV as well as other STIs and hepatitis C.

You can’t tell whether you have been infected with HIV by how you feel.

Some people have flu-like symptoms when they first get infected (fever, sore throat or swollen glands). But some people have no symptoms at all.

You can have HIV and not know it.

If you test positive:

  • There have been significant advances in the care and treatment of HIV, and with the right treatment, you can stay healthy.
  • To protect yourself and your partner(s), practise safer sex and do not share drug equipment.
  • Get connected with HIV services in your area – like HARP (HIV and AIDs Resource Program).

For more information, or to arrange to get tested for HIV, please contact us

Read more:

What are HIV and AIDS?

Protecting yourself from HIV

Getting tested for HIV

Treating HIV


This information was provided by CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange).

For more information, contact CATIE at 1.800.263.1638 or

Leave a Comment