HIV Testing

The only way to know whether you have HIV is by having an HIV test. A test sample is taken to look for HIV antibodies, which are produced when a person is infected with HIV.

What tests do I need? Answer a few questions and this site will help you decide:

The Window Period in HIV Testing

  • The window period is the time between exposure to HIV and when the body has produced enough antibodies to the virus to be detected by an HIV test.
  • During the window period, an infected person is very contagious and can transmit the HIV virus to others.
  • The average time for detectable antibodies to develop is 25 days after infection.

The HIV Test Flow Chart

HIV Test Flow Chart
HIV Test Flow Chart

Types of Tests

Rapid Test - A 20-minute test using a fingerstick drop of blood or an oral swab. It is 99 percent accurate. Results are typically available in 20 minutes.

Insti Test - A one-minute finger stick test with results available in about a minute.

Home Test - Available online or from a pharmacy. Tests are 92% accurate for HIV-positive and almost 100% accurate for negative results.

Traditional Blood Draw - A blood specimen is sent to a laboratory and results are usually available in seven to ten days. If another test shows HIV-positive, this test will be done to confirm those result




Ways to be Tested

Anonymous - A client may want to get an HIV test without giving a name. Results can only be given in person and the client is the only person who will know the results.

Confidential - A client can get an HIV test confidentially; the client's name will be recorded on their medical forms.

HIV Testing Sites in Montana