HIV Testing Options

Call or text 553-PREP to have a free home test kit mailed to you today!

If you are unfamiliar with the modes of HIV transmission or you just need a refresher, check out our resources page or is great resource for information about HIV and AIDS.

In addition to testing provided by Frannie Peabody Center, provides at-home testing kits at a low cost.

Antigen/Antibody Test

  • When: This is the test your provider is most likely to run at an office visit. 

  • What: These tests look for both the antibodies, and antigens, which are foreign substances that cause your immune system to activate.  

  • How: Done with a blood draw or finger prick

  • Window Period: A blood draw can detect an HIV infection 18 to 90 days after exposure

Nucleic Acid Test "Viral Load Test

  • These tests are typically only used for people living with HIV to determine the levels of the HIV virus. 

  • What: Rather than looking for the immune markers of the virus these tests look for the genetic material of the virus itself. 

  • How: Done with a blood draw 

  • Window Period: Can detect an HIV infection as early as 15 days after exposure. 

Antibody Test

  • When: These tests are commonly performed in community-based settings. These tests are low barrier, require only a finger prick or an oral swab, and provide results in 20 minutes.

  • What: Antibodies are produced by your immune system when you are exposed to viruses like HIV. These tests look for these antibodies.

  • How: Tests blood (finger prick or draw) or an oral swab  

  • You can take an oral test home and do it yourself 

  • Window Period: 28 to 90 days after exposure

HIV Testing...What is the difference?

Check out out providers page to get tested today

175 Lancaster Street, Portland, ME


SARSSM is a Portland-based organization that provides free services to survivors of sexual assault. In addition to running their phone/text line and online chat service, SARSSM helps survivors report rape and assault to police, navigate hospital services, and connect with local sexual health resources.

Sexual Assault Services of Southern Maine

To speak to a trained SARSSM representative see their contact page. Representatives are available via chat, text, or phone.  

The CDC's PEP Basics Guide is just one segment of the CDC's HIV Basics module. This resource provides more clinical information on PEP as well as tools for HIV risk reduction.

CDC PEP Basics→