Why get tested for HIV?

People who become HIV positive don't get any symptoms when the HIV virus first enters their body. Moreover, people can be HIV infected for over 8-10 years, and not experience any visible symptoms, appearing healthy. However, they can pass on the virus to somebody else at this stage. Also, most people do not show any outward signs when they first get HIV. Relevant laboratory tests are the most common way to diagnose HIV.

Early detection of HIV is essential for:

  • timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy;
  • prevention of HIV transmission to others;
  • giving birth to HIV free children.


Who should get tested?

You should get tested if you:

  • have ever injected drugs;
  • have had sex without a condom with a partner whose HIV status is unknown;
  • have a sexually transmitted infection or had a partner diagnosed with sexually transmitted infection;
  • have ever had viral hepatitis B or C;
  • have got a tattoo with non-sterile tools, or with tools of questionable sterility;
  • have a partner who regularly travels abroad for work.

 Pregnant women should be tested for HIV as early as possible.

 

When to get tested for HIV?

You need to wait 6 weeks after the possible exposure to get an accurate HIV blood test result.

Before HIV status assessment it is recommended that people always use a condom during sex and avoid donating blood. In that period women should avoid getting pregnant, mothers should stop breastfeeding.   

HIV is no longer a death sentence. Thanks to ARV treatment, which is accessible in Armenia and provided free of charge, it is a chronic disease. People with HIV can live long lives, upper limit of their lifespan is no longer specified. Undergoing HIV testing should be a part of routine health care. Therefore, early detection of any disease, including HIV infection, is essential to ensuring effective treatment, preventing complications.  

Once the virus enters the body, sooner or later it HIV attacks the immune system.  Therefore, late diagnosis of HIV infection is a major challenge to the HIV prevention and treatment. Whereas, timely delivered and well adhered ARV treatment helps people with HIV infection live as long as the general population. However, early diagnosis is essential for the effective treatment. That is why it is very important that people who have ever practiced risky behaviour undergo HIV testing regardless of the fact whether they have health related complaints or not.


Where to get tested for HIV?

Free anonymous HIV testing is available at the National Center for AIDS Prevention located at 2 Acharyan St., Avan, Yerevan, as well as at the Center’s mobile clinics.

The information about the mobile clinics’ schedule can be obtained from the Hot Line operating on Monday through Friday between 09:00-18:00 at: (010) 61-08-20.

Only you and the doctor will know about your testing and the test results.

HIV tests can give results in 1-2 days, rapid HIV tests in 15 - 20 minutes. Those tested are provided with pre- and post-test counselling. They may also wish to receive psychological counselling.

Single-use, disposable equipment is used to take blood for HIV test.  Eating and drinking will not affect the test.

 

Get an HIV test, know your status and preserve your health.