The why, who, when and how of testing for HIV

  • Being tested for HIV is the only way to know for sure if you are HIV positive and to get treatment. It’s important to get tested regularly and know your status, as the sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can manage your HIV and its effects on your body.

  • The World Health Organisation guidelines for HIV recommends regular HIV testing for the following at high-risk groups:

    • Men who have sexual contact with men (also called MSM)
    • People with a history of injecting drug use
    • People in prison or closed communities (including high-risk countries)
    • People who work in the sex industry
    • People who are transgender

    HIV tests are also available for those not at high-risk groups. Speak to a member of your healthcare team or visit your local sexual health clinic.

  • If you’re in one of the at high-risk groups mentioned above, you should get tested as soon as you can. If you’ve recently been tested and then had unprotected sex or shared a needle with someone, you should be retested.

  • There are lots of ways to get tested:

    • Ask your family doctor or practice nurse if they offer HIV tests
    • Visit your nearest sexual health clinic
    • Search for your nearest HIV testing services using the Hiv sneltest zoekfunctie
    • Use a home HIV testing kit

  1. World Health Organisation. Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations. July 2014.