Delivering Results: When a Test Is Negative
- Patients may be given their result and informed that no further testing is required at that time.
- Patients should be advised that if they are at high risk for HIV, they should have an HIV test at least once a year. Patients likely to be at high risk include injection-drug users and their sex partners, persons who exchange sex for money or drugs, sex partners of HIV-infected persons, men who have sex with men (MSM), and heterosexual persons who themselves or whose sex partners have had more than one sex partner since their most recent HIV test. At the time the negative test result is given, providers may decide to provide or refer patients to intensive prevention counseling.
- Advise patients that if they suspect they have been exposed to HIV in the past three months, it may be too soon to detect it. Providers should refer patients to their primary care provider or a community-based testing site for retesting in three months.
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