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HIV Testing FAQ

What is the HIV antibody test?

The HIV antibody test checks your blood to see if your immune system has produced HIV antibodies. If HIV antibodies are present, it means you have been infected with HIV, also known as seroconverting. Because HIV is a retrovirus, the antibodies are powerless in fighting off HIV, but their presence is enough to tell if you have HIV.

What will I know once I have been tested?

A positive test only tells you that you are HIV positive. It does not tell you how much virus is in your body, when you were infected, or whether or not you will get sick.

What does confidential mean?

Health units provide confidential HIV testing.

You do not need to bring a health card to be seen at the health unit, but you must give your name. Your test results stay between you and your nurse. Your results are reported to the public health database. This reporting is what allows you to get a doctor experienced in providing HIV care, the next step in keeping yourself healthy for a long time.

They will do a blood draw and send it to a laboratory. It takes approximately two weeks to get the result back.

What does anonymous mean?

You do not have to give your name or provide any identification. The Options Clinic provides anonymous point-of-care testing.

What is anonymous point-of-care testing?

You don’t need to bring your health card. It is completely anonymous, and you do not even have to give your real name. The rapid point-of-care test takes about 20 minutes, and is done by pricking your finger and drawing a small amount of blood.

If the rapid point-of-care test is reactive or, in other words, shows a positive result, Options will do a blood draw and send it off to the laboratory to confirm the result. Waiting for the result takes approximately two weeks.