HIV antibody testing is used to screen for and diagnose HIV infections. Since there is no cure, early treatment of HIV infection and immune system monitoring can greatly improve long-term health and survival. Also, if a person knows his HIV status, it may help change behaviors that can put him and others at risk.

A doctor may order the test if the patient:
1. Has had unprotected sex with more than one partner
2. Is a man who has had sex with another man Has used street drugs by injection, especially when sharing needles and/or other equipment
3. Has exchanged sex for drugs or money
4. Has an HIV-positive sex partner
5. Has had sex with anyone who falls into one of the categories listed above or is uncertain about their sexual partner's risk behaviors

Special Preparation: None.

More Detailed HIV Test Information