Standard testing - the antibody test
The HIV antibody test is a blood test that tells you if you have been infected with HIV.
The body makes antibodies in response to infections. HIV antibodies are usually detected in the blood within 12 weeks after you have been infected with HIV.
If the test is positive, it means you are infected with HIV and can pass the virus on to others. The test does not tell when you became infected or when you will get sick.
A negative test means you are not infected. A test done before 12 weeks may not show correct results because it usually takes up to 12 weeks for your body to make HIV antibodies. Your health care provider will tell you if you need another test.
Learn more about HIV standard testing in this client info sheet.
HIV point of care testing
Point of care HIV tests are rapid screening tests that may be an option for you.
- You get preliminary results on the same day.
- You will need to have a standard test to confirm the result.
A health care professional will be available to explain the test, help you understand the results, and offer counselling.