HIV Testing AIDS Testing

How it Works

HIV Testing (AIDS testing)

HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, targets the immune system by destroying CD4 T-cells. With its immune system weakened by HIV, the body becomes dangerously susceptible to a number of infections and cancers.  HIV is spread through the blood and bodily fluids of those infected with the virus.  It is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact and sharing needles during intravenous drug use.  Mothers infected with HIV can pass the virus to their babies during birth or while breast feeding.  In some cases, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).  When a person’s T-cell count falls below a certain level, or they have contracted certain infections or cancers, they are diagnosed as having AIDS.   The sooner an HIV infection is diagnosed, the quicker a treatment plan can be developed.  Timely and effective treatment is essential to limiting the damage that HIV does to the immune system.  HIV testing (AIDS testing) is the first step in identifying an infection.  Receiving HIV testing is a necessary precaution for those whose behaviors put them at risk for infection.


Easy, confidential HIV testing (AIDS testing)

At Request a Test, we have access to labs all over the country.  We use the same testing facilities that are employed by many hospitals and physicians for their testing needs.  All of our labs operate on a walk in basis so there is no need to schedule appointments.  Ordering your HIV testing (AIDS testing) with us eliminates the need to go through your doctor or insurance.  No one needs to know about your testing needs but you.


Types of HIV testing (AIDS testing)

HIV tests can be ordered separately or as part of a package containing other STD tests for greater savings.  The HIV Antigen/Antibodies Test is a common choice for routine screening.  This test is available by itself or as part of our Standard STD Panel and Peace of Mind package.  For pricing and a full listing of available HIV tests, please go to    


Symptoms of HIV

Early HIV symptoms are often described as flulike.  These may include fatigue, sore throat, fever, muscle aches, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and a red rash on the torso.  These initial symptoms often go away on their own.  Because of this, HIV is often misdiagnosed by those who do not receive HIV testing.  Once the initial symptoms fade, HIV can remain in the body for years without displaying any symptoms.  During this time, the HIV virus is continuing to attack and destroy the immune system.  Diagnosing and treating HIV early is important to keeping the virus under control.  HIV testing will help identify infection so a treatment plan can be developed. 


Who should get HIV testing (AIDS testing)?

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for HIV infection.  The use of protective devices, like condoms, lessens, but does not eliminate the possibility of infection.  Those who engage in high risk activities like unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, and intravenous drug use are especially at risk.  Receiving HIV testing (AIDS testing) can help ensure that your health is not in danger.  To avoid spreading the infection to their baby, women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should receive HIV testing.    


Why get HIV testing (AIDS testing)?

If left untreated, HIV has the potential to develop into AIDS.  By the time a person is diagnosed with AIDS, they are at high risk for potentially fatal health complications.  Those whose immune systems have been crippled by HIV are often unable to fight off infections that would not be dangerous under normal circumstances.  HIV infection can also leave the body susceptible to a number of forms of cancer. 


When to get HIV testing (AIDS testing)

It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control that all adults receive HIV testing at least once.  Those who are sexually active or engage in high risk behaviors should consider getting tested more often.  In the event that a person is stuck by a needle or exposed to blood known to be infected with HIV, it is advisable to receive HIV testing (AIDS testing).  Women who are pregnant should receive HIV testing as early as possible to avoid any health complications for their babies. 

When seeking HIV testing, it is important to pay attention to the incubation period for specific types of tests.  Generally, tests that look for viral DNA show a high level of accuracy sooner after exposure than tests that look for antibodies.  If you are seeking  HIV testing as a result of a specific contact, maintaining an awareness of how long it has been since that contact will help you pick the test that is best for your situation.   


Where can I get HIV testing (AIDS testing)?

Request a Test contracts with 2 of the largest labs in the United States to provide you with 1000s of lab collection centers nationwide.  When you order your HIV testing (AIDS testing) with us, we will find the lab location that is most convenient for you.  Once your order is complete, you can go to the lab any time during their business hours.  To find the lab location nearest to you or to view a complete list of available lab locations, please go to


HIV testing (AIDS testing) preparation

There are no special preparations necessary for HIV testing.


HIV testing (AIDS testing) procedure

Upon arrival at the lab, you will be subjected to a simple blood collection. 


HIV testing (AIDS testing) accuracy

At Request a Test we use only nationally accredited labs with highly trained personnel and state of the art equipment to ensure the highest possible accuracy in your HIV testing (AIDS testing) results.


HIV testing (AIDS testing) results

The turnaround time for HIV testing varies.  Please refer to an individual test’s listing to verify how quickly it will see results.  You will be notified by e-mail as soon as your results are available.  You can access your results online or call to speak to a representative.  Results can also be sent by fax or mail by special request. 


HIV treatment

The goal of HIV treatment is to limit the virus’s reproduction and preserve the immune system.  There are a number of HIV strains and a variety of treatment options.  It is important to consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment plan for your situation.

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