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HIV and AIDS: FAQ: How can you test whether you are infected with HIV?

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An HIV test can be used to prove whether a person has been infected with HIV, i.e. is HIV positive. The HIV test can detect antibodies in the blood that the body produces in response to the HIV virus. The HIV antibodies have formed within three months of the infection - that is, an HIV test does not provide a reliable result until three months after a risk situation.

From what point in time does a test make sense?

An HIV test does not detect the HIV virus itself in the blood, but the antibodies with which the body reacts to an HIV infection. The body can take up to 90 days to form these. The HIV test can only give a reliable result 90 days after a risky situation.

What does an HIV test cost and where can it be done?

Many health authorities and special AIDS advice centers offer free HIV tests. In addition, you can also have anonymous advice and examination there if you wish.

As part of the clarification of health problems, an HIV test can be carried out by a resident doctor at the expense of the health insurance company. However, if the HIV test is carried out at the request of the patient, he must bear the costs himself. In a medical practice, the test does not remain anonymous, but is entered in the patient's file.

Tropical institutes and some free and church-based AIDS advice centers also carry out the HIV test.