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The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.

Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner(s) healthy. About 1 in 7 people in the United States who have HIV do not know they have it.

If your behavior puts you at risk after you are tested, you should think about being tested again. Some people at higher risk should get tested more often.

If your last HIV test result was negative, you should get an HIV test if you answer "yes" to any of the questions below about your risk since that test:

  • Are you a man who has had sex with another man?

  • Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner?

  • Have you had more than one sex partner?

  • Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works (for example, water or cotton) with others?

  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?

  • Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for, another sexually transmitted disease?

  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?

  • Have you had sex with someone who could answer "yes" to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don't know?

Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).

HIV Testing: Programs
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