HIV Testing Options

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

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

The 3 Types of HIV Tests

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

  • How: Tests blood (finger prick or draw) or an oral swab. You can take an oral test home and do it yourself 

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: 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: Blood draw 

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

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