HIV Testing

  • Medical Author:
    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.

  • Medical Author: Daniel Havlichek, MD
  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Quick GuideHIV AIDS Facts: Symptoms and Treatments

HIV AIDS Facts: Symptoms and Treatments

Is HIV testing necessary for pregnant women?

HIV testing is critically important for pregnant women. HIV testing is recommended at the beginning of pregnancy during prenatal care. If any HIV risk factors are present or there is a high incidence of HIV in the population, testing should be repeated in the third trimester. There have been enormous advances in the treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women. With proper management, the probability of transmitting the virus to the fetus is less than 2%. Without proper management, the risk of transmission is as high as 33%. Because undiagnosed HIV is so common, it is necessary to test all pregnant women. It is strongly recommended that all children born to women with HIV also be tested.

Where can people find free HIV testing locations?

The CDC maintains a list of HIV testing locations for people who want to find out whether they have contracted the virus. This National HIV and STD Testing Resource can be accessed at This site includes the ability to search for free testing locations as well as locations that provide rapid tests. Some clinics only provide HIV testing. However, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) clinics routinely provide HIV testing along with testing for diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/23/2016

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