Types of HIV Tests

What kinds of tests are available, and how do they work?

Your healthcare provider can recommend the best test for you. Available HIV tests are: nucleic acid tests (NAT), antigen/antibody tests, and antibody tests. HIV tests are typically performed on blood or oral fluid. They may also be performed on urine. All tests except the NAT test can tell you the results in 30 minutes or less. If you think you have been exposed to HIV, talk to your healthcare provider about taking post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP as most tests cannot detect infection immediately after exposure.