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There are several questions a client might have for HIV testing.

Anonymous vs. Confidential testing might be one criteria. Anonymous testing means no names are given. Unfortunately, because reporting positive HIV cases is emphasized as a matter of public health, anonymous testing is harder to find before; confidential testing is usually easier to fund. Confidential testing means names are still taken, but the information is not disclosed.

HIV tests are usually a blood test- either a blood draw or finger print. There are several kinds of tests, but they usually have a result turnaround of an hour at a most, so results will be disclosed in the same appointment. There is also usually a counseling session involved, with the client talking to a counselor about risk and how to minimize it.

Rapid testing can be a finger prick (15 minutes), or cheek swab (20-30 minutes).

Another question that might come up is post-exposure prophylatics. Go to PEP below.

And window periods! Window periods for HIV is longer compared to other STIs, ranging from 9 days to 3-6 months depending on the person's body and the HIV test used. Usually a follow-up appointment is recommended or required.

HIV testing locations are usually free.

More info can be found at:

By Location

Contra Costa
San Francisco

In Kern County:
Kern County Department of Public Health offers anonymous and FREE HIV testing and counseling(M-F, 8 am - 4pm):

  • 1800 Mt. Vernon Ave., Bakersfield CA, 661-868-0503
  • 275 W. Ridgecrest Blvsd. Ridgecrest, CA 661-375-4310
  • 8301 Segue Ave., Delano, CA. 661-845-3744

California State University of Bakersfield- 661-664-2394
Clinica Sierra Vista- Kern Life Line Project 661-324-3262


Contra Costa
San Francisco

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