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What do my HIV test results mean?

Answer

A positive result means:

  • You are HIV-positive, meaning the virus that eventually leads to AIDS was found in your body.
  • Being HIV-positive means that you could infect others with HIV if you have unprotected sex.
  • Finding out you are HIV-positive can be a traumatic experience. Many people worry about what their families, friends, and community will think. Talking to a counselor can help.

A positive result does NOT mean:

  • You have AIDS.
  • You will die soon. People who take good care of their bodies by eating nutritious food, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding contact with those who are sick can live for many years with HIV.

A negative result means:

  • No antibodies were found in your blood at this time.

A negative result does NOT mean:

  • You are not infected with HIV (if you could have been exposed to HIV at any time in the last 3-6 months).
  • You are immune to AIDS or will never get AIDS.

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