Where can I get tested for HIV?

You’ve decided to get tested for HIV. That is a great decision for your health! Wondering where you can get tested? Look at these options:

1. Clinics or hospitals

A lot of people get an HIV test at the local clinic or hospital, where it is always free. Sometimes you will find tents outside these facilities offering testing as well. 

Veli from Mthatha would like to tell you what you can expect when you go to the clinic to test for HIV. Watch the video!

2. Maternity clinics

Pregnant women get an HIV test at the maternity clinic when they go for their check-ups. It’s the best way to keep both mother and baby healthy. 

3. Drug and alcohol rehab centers

Drug and alcohol rehab centers in your community may offer HIV testing. If you’re already attending or planning to attend one, ask the staff. 

4. Specialist HIV/Sexual health services

You may have seen tents or mobile clinics in your community that offer HIV testing. If there’s one in your area, it can be a quick and convenient way to get tested. 

5. Youth/Community centres  

You can get tested at some youth and community centres. If you’re already going to one, just ask the staff. If they don’t offer HIV testing, they may be able to tell you where else you can go. 

6. Self-screening

You can also do an HIV self-screening test yourself, using either saliva or a drop of blood. You can use the test in private. 

In some communities, there are programs giving out HIV self-screening tests for free. You can also buy them at some pharmacies or online. 

If you choose to do a self-screening test, it is important that you read and follow the instructions correctly so that you get an accurate result. If the result is positive, you will need to go to the clinic for a test to confirm. 

What to know when you get tested:

  • You must agree to the test (consent). No one can force you to test.
  • You should be able to talk to a counsellor before and after the test, to make sure you understand everything and can get support.
  • Your test results will always be private and confidential. No one has the right to share your HIV status without your permission. 
  • You should be able to see the test kit showing an HIV positive or negative result. 
  • Depending on the test result, you should be given information on HIV treatment or prevention.

Need more information on what HIV self-screening is? Check out this article.

Do you know what the window period is? Find out more.

Find out where you can tested for HIV in your area here.

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