HIV Testing

At SHCS, students can get tested for HIV through blood draw in the laboratory. This test requires an appointment with a medical provider who requests the lab test. There is no cost for students who are eligible for FamilyPACT.

How Does an HIV test work?

An HIV tests check for antibodies that the body produces once someone is infected with HIV. If the test detects HIV antibodies, a person may be infected with HIV. If antibodies are not present, a person is likely not infected with HIV.

What is the window period?

The time period between HIV exposure and a positive test is called the “window period.” During this time a person could test negative for HIV but still be infected with HIV and be able to transmit the virus to others. It can take as long as three to six months for the body to develop enough antibodies to be detectable on a test. Therefore, it is important to get tested (or re-tested) after a sufficient period of time has passed to know for sure.

Who should get tested?

The CDC recommends that all adults get tested for HIV at least once. Depending on ongoing risk, regular testing is recommended. The following behaviors can put someone at risk for HIV infection.

  • Unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral).
  • Sex with someone who was an IV drug user. 
  • Treated for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or hepatitis.
  • Have ever been sexually assaulted.
  • Shared needles or other equipment to inject drugs or pierce the skin.

If you answered yes to any of these risk factors we encourage you to consider an HIV test, whether it is your first test or repeat test.


  • HIV Testing (blood draw): Free with FamilyPACT.

For More Information:

  • (510) 885-3735


Last edited: 8/23/18