How often should I test?
All people who are sexually active should get tested for HIV and other STIs once a year. Beyond that, the frequency of testing depends on who you have sex with and what type of sex you have.
The more partners you have, the more often you should test for all STIs. This is because some STIs like gonorrhoea and syphilis are easily transmitted through oral sex, and it is possible to have one of these STIs without any symptoms. Not many people use condoms for oral sex, so it's important to get tested regularly for these.
For HIV, the risk from oral sex is very low but the risk from anal sex without condoms is very high. So, for gay and bisexual men, even if you've had few partners, the more times you've had anal sex without condoms, the more often you should test for HIV.
When is the best time to get tested?
The ideal time to be tested is four weeks after you think you may have been at risk to HIV. Our HIV rapid tests measure antibodies in the blood stream and, while 85% of people produce antibodies two to four weeks after exposure, the other 15% can take up to three months. Because of this window period, you will require a retest at the three month mark.