Questions about Testing
CDC recommends that health care providers test everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 at least once as part of routine health care. One in seven people in the United States who have HIV do not know they are infected.
Behaviors that put you at risk for HIV include having vaginal, oral or anal sex without a condom, or sharing injection drug equipment with someone who has HIV. If you continue having unsafe sex or sharing injection drug equipment, you should get tested at least once a year. Sexually active men and women may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
Getting tested can give you some important information and can help keep you—and others—safe. For example,
- Knowing your HIV status can give you peace of mind—and testing is the only way you can know your HIV status for sure.
- When you and your partner know each other’s HIV status, you can make informed decisions about your sexual behaviors and how to stay safe.
- If you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, knowing your status can help protect your baby from becoming infected.
- If you find out you are HIV-positive, you can start taking medicine for your HIV. Getting treated for HIV improves your health, prolongs your life, and greatly lowers your chance of spreading HIV to others.
- If you know you are HIV-positive, you can take steps to protect your sex partners from becoming infected.
All services at Nashville CARES are based upon need regardless of ability to pay.
No, walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Nashville CARES uses OraQuick, rapid, oral tests. The test is painless and uses an oral swab, so no blood is required. The test looks for the antibodies your body produces when it is fighting the HIV virus.
A certified HIV Counselor will swab the top and bottom of your gums, and then process the test. You will have results within 20 minutes.