Q:

How long does it take for someone to get HIV test results back?

A:

The amount of time that it takes to get results from an HIV test can range from as little as 30 minutes to as much as a few weeks, according to AIDS Info. The quickest test is the rapid HIV antibody test, which checks for HIV antibodies in the blood, urine or fluids in the mouth, according to AIDS Info.

There are three different types of HIV tests which include the HIV antibody test, the HIV RNA test, and the Western blot test, according to AIDS Info. The HIV antibody test and HIV RNA test typically take a few days to a few weeks to get results. In the case of a positive result, these tests are followed up for a confirmation result using the Western blot test, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An HIV antibody test should be conducted 2 to 8 weeks after possible exposure to the HIV virus for the most accurate results. This timing allows antibodies to grow to a measurable level in the body, according to Lifebeat. The HIV RNA test can detect the virus in as little as 9 to 11 days of exposure. However, this test is more expensive and less commonly used, according to Lifebeat.

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