The Virginia Department of Health FREE HIV Self-Testing Program makes HIV testing even easier to access! Eligible residents of Virginia and Maryland can receive an HIV self-test to take in the privacy of their home or where is convenient.
It’s fast and easy. Just a swab of the mouth and 20 minutes later you have your results. Counseling is available before and after testing from the providing agency.
If you prefer to have an HIV test done by a healthcare provider or want to be tested for other STDs, ask for in-person testing.
If my HIV test is negative...
Consider your ongoing HIV prevention strategy. This may include PrEP, for people who do not have HIV and want added protection.
Talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should schedule a follow-up test. The “window” period when HIV antibodies are detected by a test can take up to 12 weeks after exposure.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours, PEP – post exposure prophylaxis – may be an option.
If my HIV test is positive...
A positive HIV self-test needs to be confirmed through additional testing.
If the follow-up test is also positive, you will start daily antiretroviral medication to lower your viral load. While not a cure, it is possible to reduce the viral load to levels undetectable by lab tests.
When HIV is undetectable it cannot be passed to others through sex.
With ongoing treatment, you can live a healthy, normal lifespan.