The only way to know your status is with an HIV test. It detects the presence of HIV-specific antibodies. Common HIV tests include:
  • Rapid Blood Tests – The finger is pricked. Results are ready within 20 minutes.
  • Oral Swab Tests – A soft swab collects saliva in the mouth.

The body typically needs three to 12 weeks to make enough "detectable" antibodies. This is the WINDOW PERIOD (the time between exposure and detection). Avoid high-risk behaviors during the window period and get retested if possible exposure occurs.

Get tested at least once a year, or more often if you engage in high-risk behavior. Ask for an HIV test:
  • If you think you may have been exposed to HIV.
  • When you have an STI screening. (Be your own advocate and be sure HIV testing is included.)
  • When you have an upcoming annual check-up/gynecological exam. (Ask your health care provider because an HIV test is not normally included with these exams.)
  • Are (or plan to become) pregnant.

Negative Test Results

HIV is not present, or there aren't enough antibodies to be detected just yet. It's possible to have a negative result during the window period and still be HIV+. Recommendations include closing out your window period, retesting and continuing to practice prevention.

Positive Test Results

HIV is present. Retesting (to confirm) and prevention practices are recommended. Results don’t indicate how long the virus has been in the body.

Testing & Treatment Locations

On-campus HIV testing at Student Health Services (SHS) is fast and convenient. If you're nervous about making an appointment — or want help from a health educator to make the call — visit The Well (HUB 248) for support.


Free Rides to Testing Locations

Ride Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) buses for free with your R'Card. For schedules and routes, visit or call (951) 565-5002.

I've Been Tested — Now What?

Waiting for a test result can be scary and uncertain. Regardless of the outcome, we're here to help with campus and community treatment options, support, and resources. Reach out to these campus resources to get the support and referrals you need.

Anti-HIV Medications

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – Daily pill to prevent HIV. Reduces risk of HIV by up to 92 percent.

Best used if you:

  • Have unprotected sexual activity with an HIV+ person or a person with an unknown HIV status.
  • Have been diagnosed with an STI in the last six months.
  • Have injected drugs in the last six months.
  • Have been in drug treatment for IV drug used in the last six months.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) – An emergency series taken after possible exposure.

Treatment for HIV

Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) – A combination of three or more medications that prevents HIV from multiplying and reduces transmission by 96 percent.

If treated early in her pregnancy, a woman's risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be reduced to 1 percent or less. (

Campus Insurance

Highlander Care for Basic Medical Services and ESL Health Insurance Plan for International Students
Free HIV testing and safer sex supplies. Costs for PrEP and PEP depend on outside insurance. ART available with prescription and can be ordered from the SHS pharmacy.

Consult a health care provider right away to discuss treatment options. Without treatment, it takes about 10 years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS.

Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) and Graduate Student Insurance Plan (GSHIP)
Free HIV testing and safer sex supplies. PrEP and PEP available with insurance (prices vary). ART available with prescription and can be ordered from the SHS pharmacy.