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HIV Screening

Topic Overview

Getting tested for HIV can be scary, but the condition is treatable. So it is important to get tested if you think you have been exposed. Early detection and monitoring of HIV will help your doctor find out whether the disease is getting worse and when to start treatment.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says you should consider getting tested for HIV if you or your partner(s) has ever:

  • Had sex without using a condom or other protective barrier.
  • Had sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs (you may not have used protection).
  • Tested positive for another sexually transmitted or blood-borne infection, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.
  • Shared needles, syringes or other drug use equipment when using drugs, including steroids.
  • Had tattooing, piercing, or acupuncture with unsterilized equipment.

You and your doctor can decide if testing is right for you.

You can get HIV testing in most doctors' offices, public health units, and hospitals.

For more information, see the topic HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Infection.


Current as of: October 31, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Peter Shalit MD, PhD - Internal Medicine