The doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and risk factors, and do a physical exam. If you have risk factors for AIDS or the doctor suspects you may be infected, he can order a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.

HIV tests include:

  • ELISA test —This test is used to detect HIV infection. If an ELISA test is positive, the Western blot test is usually performed to confirm the diagnosis. The ELISA test may be negative if you were recently infected with HIV. Many people with HIV (95%) will have a positive test within three months of the time they became infected. Most people with HIV (99%) will have a positive test within six months. If an ELISA test is negative, but you think you may have HIV, get tested again in 1-3 months.
  • Western Blot —This test is very specific at identifying HIV. It is used to confirm a positive ELISA test result.
  • OraQuick Rapid HIV-1 antibody test—This is a preliminary test using saliva. This test should be confirmed by an ELISA test.
  • CD4+T cell count—This is a blood test used to evaluate the status of your immune system.
  • Viral load test—This is a test to measure the amount of HIV in your blood.
  • Other blood tests—If you are infected with HIV, additional blood tests may be ordered to check for other blood-borne infections.