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Frequently Asked Questions About HIV and STD Testing


This tool provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing.

It addresses the following questions:

  • Who should be tested for STDs?
  • Should I get an HIV test?
  • How long after a possible exposure should I wait to get tested for HIV?
  • How do HIV tests work?
  • What are the different HIV screening tests available in the United States?
  • If I test HIV negative, does that mean that my sex partner is HIV negative also?
  • What if I test positive for HIV?
  • I'm HIV positive. Where can I get information about treatment?
  • Why does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend HIV screening for all pregnant women?

Links are also provided for information on the following:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Herpes
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Trichomoniasis
Links to the Tool:
This tool is available at:

Developer; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Prevention Information Network

Funding Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

QualityTool Topic



  • Release Date: 04/2006
  • Review Date: 04/2008
  • Recent Summary: 04/2008
  • Original Summary: 04/2006
Disclaimer: The inclusion of a tool in the Innovations Exchange does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or Westat of the tool or of the submitter or developer of the tool. Read more.

Last updated: March 14, 2012.