HIV tests

We’ve come a long way since HIV and AIDS first came along in the 80s. Still, it’s important to get tested regularly. All five HIM Health Centres offer early, rapid, and standard HIV tests.

Rapid HIV Test

Done by a finger prick, this test looks for HIV antibodies, which it can detect from 4 to 6 weeks up to 3 months after infection. For most men, antibodies are detectable 3–4 weeks after HIV infection. This test is just as accurate as the standard HIV test.

Results: 1 minute

Early HIV Test (RNA/NAAT Test)

As soon as a person is infected with HIV, the virus duplicates itself very quickly because the body does not yet have antibodies to fight it. Using a blood sample, this test searches your blood for the HIV virus, not antibodies. It can detect the virus 10–12 days after infection. The Early HIV test is also called Ribonucleic Acid test, or RNA test, or Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing, or NAAT.

Results: 5 to 7 business days

Standard HIV Test

A blood sample test that looks for HIV antibodies. It can detect antibodies from 4 to 6 weeks up to 3 months after infection.

Results: 5 to 7 business days

Which HIV test do you need?

If you’re not sure what test is right for you, a pre-test conversation with one of our Registered Nurses will help you make the right choice.

Take the Early HIV Test if you have had risky sex or unprotected anal sex more than 8 days ago but less than 4 weeks ago, or if you are concerned that you may have contracted HIV recently.

The Rapid and Standard Tests look for HIV antibodies. About 75% of infected people will test positive with a rapid or standard test 4–6 weeks after being infected. After 3 months, close to 100% of infected people will show a positive result.

Have more questions about HIV?

What does undetectable really mean? What’s the most risky time for post-HIV-infection sex? Find out more about HIV detection & transmission.

Free Condoms

Condoms are still a great way to reduce risk of exposure to HIV and STIs, and are available in all of our Health Centres in different sizes. We also offer non-latex condoms.

Is PrEP right for you?

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a new HIV prevention tool for guys who fuck guys. Interested in learning more?

PEP — Post Exposure Prophylaxis

If you’ve fucked without a condom and are concerned that you could have been exposed to HIV in the past 72 hours, PEP can help prevent HIV transmission. You must start treatment within 72 hours after exposure — and sooner, if possible.

HIM honours the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and the territories of many nations on the west coast of Turtle Island, on whose unceded and stolen land we live and work. As uninvited inhabitants, we acknowledge that this space is and always will be Indigenous land.

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