You may also consider having a test if you have had unprotected anal sex, or starting a new relationship (check out "Talk, Test, Test, Trust""). The HIV blood test detects HIV antibodies not the virus itself. This is NOT a test for AIDS. Antibodies are part of the body's natural defence system, which show up when germs or viruses enter the body. HIV antibodies can take up to
12 weeks to show up in a test from when HIV was first passed on. This is called the "window period".
Taking a sexual history - The doctor or nurse will take a sexual history before testing. They will ask you questions about your sex like including:
In Victoria and New South Wales the law requires that you receive a pre and post test discussion about HIV and HIV testing.
This has to happen in person. The pre test discussion will help you to decide whether or not you need to have it. The doctor, counsellor or nurse will talk to you about:
Remember, the decision about whether to have a test or not is yours.
Before taking a test, you might want to think about telling one or two friends so that you have some support. Think about whom you might tell - it's a good idea NOT to tell everyone you know,
otherwise they all might want to know the result. When you do tell people that you are taking the test, or the test results, be very clear about how confidential you want that kept. You might not want them to tell other people. Some people find talking to a trained counsellor helpful while they are thinking about issues around HIV.
By law, these can only be given to you in person and accompanied by post-test counselling. If you test HIV+ the doctor, counsellor or nurse can help you consider the following issues:
You may also be asked to help contact your past and present sex partners. Someone will be available to help you do this confidentially. Discrimination in housing, employment, insurance, finance and travel are mostly illegal. You might also be able to take legal action if someone tells someone else you're HIV+ without your permission.