Specialized testing for HIV infection as early as one week after exposure.
After becoming HIV infected, it typically takes up to 3 months to develop a positive antibody test result. In rare cases, it may take even longer. During this "window period" when the HIV antibody test is negative, a different type of test - a type of 'viral load' test - can detect the presence of HIV.
This type of test is not typically offered at HIV testing sites and health insurance does not usually cover viral load tests for HIV screening.
If you test negative for the standard HIV antibody test, you will get a free viral load to test to detect very early infection as early as one week after a potential HIV exposure.
With the Early Test there’s no need to return to the test location for your results. In two weeks simply log into our automated results system to get your negative results.
Your confidentiality is assured. While we do ask for some personal information (such as your name), your results will not be given to anyone else without your written permission.
For those who test HIV positive, the Antiviral Research Center (AVRC) can help you in several ways. Whether or not you have health insurance, we can help you find an HIV specialist.
If you are identified as having early HIV infection through this specialized testing program, you will be offered opportunities to participate in early infection research studies. If you are able to participate, you will receive free counseling and free diagnostic tests.
In addition, the AVRC will help you by providing Partner Notification Services if you want help telling your sex partners that they have been exposed to HIV. Talking to partners about HIV is not easy and wondering if you might have infected someone else may weigh heavily on your mind.
The UCSD First Choice Program has specialists who can help you tell your partners that they have been exposed to HIV or they can tell your partners for you. Your name and other identifying information will be kept confidential throughout the process. No one is here to judge or lecture you. We are just here to help. For you, and for everyone you’ve had sex with, and for anyone you will have sex with - Know Your Status Now!