If you are new to HIV testing then it can be quite a daunting experience. This page gives some
basic information about what to expect.
Look for a gay-friendly clinic or a clinic that specialises in sexual health. You can find a clinic
near you by using the page on this site. Often these are free, or bulk-billed on your Medicare Card
(if you have one).
Some clinics now offer rapid HIV testing, which means you can get a result in around 20 minutes.
No one is there to judge you. Clinic staff are professional or peer providers and their job is to make
the experience of testing as smooth and straightforward as possible, and to reduce any fears or
anxieties you have about going for a test. And remember…all the other clients are there for the same
reason you are.
Many sexual health centres provide an anonymous service. This means you can just use your first
name and you will be given a number to use every time you attend that clinic.
When you go to a clinic you will be asked questions about your sexual history. This includes
whether you have male or female sex partners (or both), and what kind of sex you have had. These questions are not designed to embarrass you. They are standard questions and the health-care provider asks these to determine the right tests for you. All this information is strictly confidential, which means it is just between you and the health-care provider.
When you have an HIV test you will almost always be offered a full sexual health check. This is
important as sexually transmissible infections are easy to get and to pass on, and they often don’t
have any noticeable symptoms. They are however easy to treat.