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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Test GUIDE LINE from CDC
      #20036 - 07/30/01 11:13 PM

How long after a possible exposure should I wait to get tested for HIV?

The tests commonly used to detect HIV infection actually look for antibodies produced by your body to fight HIV. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 months after infection, the average being 25 days. In rare cases, it can take up to 6 months. For this reason, the CDC currently recommends testing 6 months after the last possible exposure (unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex or sharing needles). It would be extremely rare to take longer than 6 months to develop detectable antibodies. It is important, during the 6 months between exposure and the test, to protect yourself and others from further possible exposures to HIV.

The CDC National AIDS Hotline can provide more information and referrals to testing sites in your area. The Hotline numbers are 1-800-342-2437 (English), 1-800-344-7432 (Spanish), or 1-800-243-7889 (TTY).





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