HIV test: Test methods
In Germany, various testing methods exist. The choice of method depends upon the following factors:
In this case, a blood sample will be sent to a laboratory. As a rule, the result will be available within a few days. The laboratory will carry out a so-called screening test as well as a confirmatory test. In case of a negative laboratory test, an HIV infection can reliably be excluded after six weeks.
The advantages of a quick test are the immediate results after a few minutes. Quick tests are a kind of screening test. Therefore, a so-called reactive result must be confirmed by a laboratory. HIV infection can only be ruled out with certainty by a rapid test twelve weeks after a risk-situation.
HIV self-tests are basically quick tests. Therefore, an HIV infection can only be excluded safely after twelve weeks (see above).
As of September 29, 2018 HIV self-tests are freely available for sale in Germany. Some facilities or organizations offer a guided HIV self-test. Click here for more information.