The HIV test looks for HIV antibodies in your body.
If you have anitbodies:
* Your test results will be positive. This means you have HIV.
If you don't have the antibodies:
* Your test will be negative.
This means one of two things:
* You don't have HIV
* You have HIV, but you body hasn't made antibodies yet.
It takes up to 3 months after infection for the body to make HIV antibodies. In rare cases, it can take up to 6 months.
What happens in testing?
* A health care worker takes a little blood from your arm or finger, takes cells from the inside of your cheek or gums with a cotton swab or asks for a urine sample.
* Many test centers offer a quick test. Results take a few minutes. Positive results must be confirmed with a second test with results in about 2 weeks.
* Other places send the sample to a lab. In about 2 weeks, you got back to get the results.
* Most test centers provide counseling to help you understand the results and learn how to prevent HIV.