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.