What is HIV Antibody testing?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. The presence of the HIV antibody in the blood means that you have been infected with HIV. Testing the blood for the HIV antibody provides evidence of this infection.
Student Health Services offers 4th generation HIV testing, which tests for HIV antibodies and the p24 antigen. Testing for p24 detects some cases of HIV infection before antibodies are produced, shortening the window period in which people may test negative despite having infection.
Who can be tested at Student Health Services?
Any student eligible for care at SHS may be tested. SHS offers confidential testing only.
Persons who should consider testing are:
- Persons who may have a sexually transmitted disease
- Persons sharing needles for any reason
- Persons who consider themselves at risk
- Women of childbearing age who are considering pregnancy
- Transfusion recipients before 1985
- Sexual partners of the above
- Persons who have intercourse (oral, vaginal, anal) without using a condom for protection.
What is Confidential Testing?
Confidential testing means your name will be printed on the test request and test results. The test results are included in your confidential medical record. Test results cannot be released to others without a written authorization specifically requesting your HIV antibody test results.
Confidential testing may be requested on a walk in basis during regular clinic hours (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 3:30pm, except Tue & Thu opens at 9:00am). Confidential testing is FREE if you have UC SHIP, students with RAFT pay $9.00, students without RAFT or UC SHIP pay $24.00. Check in at the laboratory reception desk and complete the order form. Order forms can also be downloaded here.
What is Anonymous Testing?
Anonymous testing means a random identification number is used to request the test and is printed on the test result. Your name is not used in the testing process at all. SHS does not provide anonymous testing.
The San Diego Department of Health Services and other community clinics offer free anonymous HIV antibody testing. These and other locations are listed at AIDS Test Locations
Early Test Program
The UCSD Antiviral Research Center (AVRC)
in Hillcrest provides an early HIV test that looks for virus
instead of antibodies
. Persons considering having the early test must wait SEVEN DAYS since their last exposure before taking the early test. Results for the early test are given TWO WEEKS later.
For more information on HIV and other STD's, check out the Sexual Health Links on our resource page.