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Test Results

A Positive Test Result Means (Reactive)

  • You are HIV-positive (you are carrying the virus that causes AIDS).
  • You can infect others and should try to take precautions to prevent doing so.
  • Your health care provider may request additional testing to confirm the initial results.

Testing Positive Does NOT Mean

  • Your life is over.
  • You have AIDS.
  • You will die soon.

A Negative Result Means (Non-Reactive)

  • No HIV antibodies were found in your blood.

A Negative Result Does NOT Mean

  • You are not infected with HIV (you may still be in the "window period").
  • You are immune to AIDS.
  • You have a "resistance" to infection.
  • You will never get AIDS.

You may be anxious to be tested soon after an encounter which you perceive to be risky. If testing will make you less anxious then go ahead and get tested. But remember, to be certain, you will need to get tested after 3 months following the risky encounter.

If you feel better getting tested a shortly after the risky encounter, then by all means do it. There is nothing wrong about testing. However, for completely accurate test results then you must wait at least 3 months after any risky activity.

By taking the test, you can find out whether or not you have contracted HIV. If you test negative, you may feel less anxious after testing. Regardless of the result, testing often increases your commitment to overall good health habits.


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