What are the symptoms of HIV?

The symptoms of an early HIV infection are very similar to the symptoms of many other illnesses, including the common cold. They can include fever, headache, rash, sore throat, chest infections, and vomiting. Given these symptoms occur frequently with many other diseases, the only way to know for sure whether you have HIV or a cold is to get tested.  Not everyone will have symptoms, so if you have been exposed you should get tested.

When should I get tested?

Better2Know has three testing options depending on how long ago your potential exposure to HIV was. 

  • For over 10 days you can choose our Early Detection Screen which is an HIV RNA test
  • For over 28 days you can choose our HIV Duo test or 5th Generation Test
  • For over 26 days, at some clinics, you can choose our Instant Test (20 minutes)

If you choose the Early Detection Screen, you should follow up at 28 days with the HIV Duo test.

Who should get tested?

You should consider an HIV tets if:

  • You have recently had unprotected sex (without a condom) with a new partner
  • A sexual partner tells you they are HIV positive
  • You have shared needles or injecting equipment
  • You have had a tattoo or piercing without a sterile needle
  • You or your partner have had unprotected sex (without a condom) with other partners
  • You or your partner have another sexually transmitted infection
  • You are pregnant or planning a pregnancy
  • There is any chance that an exchange of bodily fluids may have taken place with someone who is, or may be, HIV positive

What is an Instant Test?

Instant HIV tests give you results while you wait. Better2Know uses the most advanced test on the market that looks for the HIV antibodies and the p24 antigen, and can accurately detect HIV from 26 days after any incident you are concerned about.  Results are available just 20 minutes later.

Some of the rapid tests available are standard antibody tests and do not detect the p24 antigen. These tests cannot give you a reliable result for any potential exposure that occurred in the last three months.

I am really scared - Should I get the 10 day HIV Test?

The 10 day test takes three working days to deliver results.  You will get your results earlier than waiting to take the 28 day test. The early detection screen is slightly less sensitive (96%) than the HIV Dup test at 28 days. If you choose the Early Detection screen, then we suggest that you should retest at 28 days with an HIV DUO test.

How long will it take to get my results?

For the 28 day tests, results are available the same day your sample is received in the testing laboratory. It takes three days from when the sample is received in the laboratory for the ten day test. Instant results are available while you wait.

Are my results confidential?

Yes. The results are 100% confidential and will be known only to you and Better2Know. The results will not be shared with any third parties.