Scared of Contracting HIV

Q: I just found out that someone I had sex with several months ago has been diagnosed with HIV. I’m very scared right now. What are the chances that I contracted this virus? Do I need to be tested even though we used a condom? Will I need to be tested for the rest of my life?

T. Terry

Newton, KS

A: These situations can be frightening, but it’s important to know that just because you slept with someone that has HIV doesn’t mean you contracted it. They may have not had it when you slept with them, and even if they did HIV is difficult to contract in most cases. The fact that you used protection also reduces the risk of transmission.

Regardless, it is important that you seek testing. If the last time you had sex with them was over three months ago a standard antibody test will provide conclusive results. If it was more recent than three months, you may consider an HIV DNA panel for early detection. We offer private and laboratory-based testing across the country. We simply assign you a registration number, you provide the blood at a local collection site, and we provide the results of your test within a few days of the collection. Our counselors are knowledgeable and friendly, and we can help you figure out what you to test for and when. Please call our office at your convenience to speak about your testing needs.