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Community Strength Project

What is the Test & Where Do I Get Tested

Are you eligible to get tested?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends that all people between the ages of 13 and 65 be tested for HIV on an annual basis. Some community testing sites require that you be "high risk" in order to receive HIV counseling and testing services. If you are turned away from testing due to your "risk" level, remember that you may request a test from your healthcare provider. You may also call other testing sites to see if they will test you. 

What is a rapid test and how do I get tested?

Rapid testing involves either a finger prick or a mouth swab. These tests may yield results in 20 minutes or, with certain tests, in just 10 minutes. These tests are preliminary. This means that they are highly accurate but must be confirmed with a blood draw test before you may receive treatment for HIV. 

What is a regular HIV test and how do I get tested?

You may opt out of rapid HIV testing and receive a main blood draw test. Main blood draw tests might also be preliminary, and may require another blood draw for confirmatory testing. Preliminary testing that uses main blood draws may take a few days to a few weeks for results. 

Is the test confidential and anonymous?

HIV testing may be confidential or anonymous:

  • An anonymous test means that you never provide your name at the testing site. You are identified by a code name or number.

  • Confidential testing means that you do provide your name, but your test is not public information.

    Remember that you cannot be treated for HIV if you are tested anonymously. You must have a confirmatory test available to healthcare providers in order to receive treatment. If you choose confidential testing, speak with the individual providing the test to learn who may become aware of your result. 

What does it cost?
Your health insurance provider may cover your HIV test. Otherwise, free HIV testing is offered by a number of community resources. At Maricopa County Department of Public Health, you may pay $20.00 to be screened for sexually transmitted infections. This includes HIV testing as well as screening for Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia.
  • Maricopa County Department of Public Health
    1645 E. Roosevelt, Phoenix, Arizona
    Call for additional sites: 602-506-1678
  • Terros
    333 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, Arizona
    Call for days/hours: 602-685-6000
  • Pinal County Public Health
    500 S. Central, Florence, Arizona
    Call for days/hours: 520-868-7301 
  • Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS
    1101 N. Central Avenue Suite 204, Phoenix, Arizona
    Call for days/hours: 602-307-5330
When is it confirmed?
A preliminary reactive or "positive" HIV test result is confirmed by another HIV test called the Western Blot. State Laboratories will perform the Western Blot test on the blood provided to them by the person who originally tested you. The Western Blot typically takes two to four weeks. The preliminary test that you receive before a Western Blot is highly accurate, and you should begin planning for how you will live well with HIV upon a preliminary HIV positive test result.

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