July 29th, 2011 | Published in HIV Testing
Guidelines for Routine HIV Testing
The guidelines for when to test for HIV are pretty straightforward. In short, the CDC recommends that all sexually active adolescents and adults take an HIV test at least once a year. Annual HIV testing can be performed quickly and conveniently along with routine STD testing. In fact, some HIV tests only take 20 minutes for results so HIV testing has never been easier.
While everyone should have an annual HIV test administered, certain high risk sub-groups should be screened more often. When to test for HIV varies based on one’s specific behavior, but high risk demographics should test about every three to six months. These groups include the following:
- Men who have sex with other men
- Anyone who has sex for money
- Those engaging in high-risk, sexual behaviors
- Anyone who may have been exposed to HIV
- IV drug users
Those wondering when to test for HIV after a potential exposure must wait enough time for antibodies to develop. Experts recommend waiting three months after an exposure for the most accurate results. If you are testing with a PCR test, accurate results can be obtained as early as 10 days post-exposure.