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HIV testing in Phoenix provided by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health
HIV testing in Tucson provided by the Pima County Health Department
HIV testing in Flagstaff provided by the Public Health Services District of Coconino County
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends that all people between the ages of 13 and 65 be tested for HIV on an annual basis. If you are sexually active or at risk for contracting HIV, you may want to get an HIV test more frequently (such as every three months).
What to Expect When You Get Tested for HIV and STDs
This video from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health provides an overview of a typical HIV/STD testing experience.
By law, all information regarding demographics, clinical encounters with a medical provider, testing, and treatment is confidential. This information is not shared with outside non-public health entities without the written permission of the patient. So, your insurance company, employer, medical provider, etc. will not know the results of your test unless you provide permission for information to be provided to them. However, Arizona is a name-based reporting state, so all HIV testing providers are required to report the results of your test, including your name, to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Types of HIV Tests
HIV tests are designed to detect antibodies or proteins produced by your body when you have an infection. Your body will make unique antibodies to fight specific infections. Some HIV tests available today can detect an infection as early as 10 days after exposure. These tests are called 4th generation HIV tests & are available in laboratory settings. Some HIV tests are “CLIA Waived”. This designation means that these tests can be conducted in a doctor’s office, community outreach or organization who has applied for a “Waiver” to conduct this type of testing.
Whole Blood/Serum Blood Test: With this type of test, blood is drawn from the patient and sent to a lab for processing. Results are typically available in a week or less. It is important to know what type of test is being done as some do not detect antibodies for up to 45 days after exposure, while others can detect within 10 days.
Rapid Tests: These tests can provide results in less than 30 minutes. They are typically used in locations where the patient is waiting for a result. These tests can be blood based or use oral fluid (oral mucosal transudate - cells collected from between your cheek & gums).