You should get a HIV test if you:
- have had sex without a condom
- have recently been diagnosed with another sexually transmitted infection (STI)
- have shared needles or other injecting equipment or
- are worried about HIV.
HIV can be passed through bodily fluids which can get into your blood through a mucous membrane (such as the lining of the vagina, rectum, or the opening of the penis), by shared injecting equipment, or through broken skin (such as cuts or sores in the mouth or tears around the anus). You cannot get HIV from saliva, sweat or urine.
Who should get tested for HIV?
Everyone who is sexually active, regardless of your age, gender or sexual orientation, can make HIV testing a regular part of your routine health care, even if you regularly use condoms and don’t think you have been at risk.
HIV does not discriminate.
You should especially get tested for HIV if you:
You can have a confidential conversation about HIV, STI prevention and testing, or HIV symptoms and treatment by calling the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624 (free call).
If you’re an international student and want further information about how to navigate the NSW Health system? Visit the International Student Health Hub
It’s always better to know
People often put off testing because they are anxious about the result. Knowing your status means you can take control of your health.
If you’re negative, you can get more info on how to stay that way, while if you’re positive you can use protection, such as condoms, to prevent HIV from being passed on.
You’ll also be able to start HIV treatment (antiretroviral medication) straight away, to reduce the levels of HIV in your body. With today’s antiretroviral treatment, it’s possible for the amount of virus in your body to fall so low that it becomes ‘undetectable’, meaning HIV doesn’t show up in normal blood tests. When this is confirmed by your doctor, it also means you can’t pass on HIV through sex. You’ll need to keep taking your HIV antiretroviral treatment as prescribed, and monitor your viral load to be sure that it remains ‘undetectable’.
The quickest way to know whether you’re HIV positive or negative, is by getting tested for HIV.
Ways to get a HIV test:
It’s quick and easy
Getting an HIV test is quick, easy, and can also be free. Your results are 100% confidential.
A positive result means you can start treatment as soon as possible
If you test positive for HIV, you can start HIV treatment (antiretroviral treatment) quickly, to reduce the amount of HIV in your body and protect your immune system from damage sooner.
Today, people living with HIV who start treatment early, can expect to live as long as the average person, so it’s important to take control of your health by getting a test.
Anyone who tests positive for HIV, including their partners or others affected by the diagnosis, can reach out to Positive Life to speak to another person living with HIV who shares your experience of HIV. We’re positive we can make a difference. [(02) 9206 2177, 1800 245 677 or firstname.lastname@example.org]