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Public Health - Seattle & King County

HIV and STD testing

Where can I get tested for HIV and STDs in King County?
Why should I get tested for HIV?
"Why HIV Testing is Important for YOU" (fact sheets)
What types of tests can I get?
How long should I wait after a possible exposure to get tested?
What if I test positive?
Where can I learn more about HIV and STDs?

Where can I get tested for HIV in King County?
Your private health care provider.

Most private providers can provide testing for a fee. Health insurance may cover the costs. If you do not have health insurance, ask about fees first. If you are a teen, ask if an explanation of benefits detailing your HIV testing will be sent home to your parents.


Public Health STD Clinic at Harborview Medical Center
Ninth and Jefferson Building [ MAP ]
908 Jefferson St, 11th Floor
Seattle, WA
Phone: 206-744-3590

Hours:

  • Monday, Wednesday-Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Registration opens at 7:45 am every day except for 2 Tuesdays per month. If planning to visit on a Tuesday, please call ahead to determine the clinic's opening time.

If you need to be seen later than 2:30 p.m. please talk to our staff to make sure we are still accepting patients for the day. Learn more.

The Public Health Center clinics offer HIV and other STD testing. Some are referred to as Family Planning Clinics. All of these clinics offer services to teens. HIV testing fees are based on client's income, and may be reduced to zero. The clinics also accept Provider One cards. People who need HIV testing as determined by a health care provider will be served even if they cannot pay.

Teens – check out the Teen Clinic page for more information.


Several community agencies and clinics provide HIV and STD testing.

Most places offer HIV and STD testing. Some places offer incentives for testing. Click on the agency name in the left column for contact details. Days and times may change. Please call to confirm when testing is available.

Agency
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thur
Fri
Sat
Sun
Bartell Drugs
HIV test. ONLY at the Broadway and Pike location (Seattle)
9am-9pm
9am-9pm
9am-9pm
9am-9pm
9am-9pm
9am-6pm
10am-6pm
Center for Multi-Cultural Health
HIV test. U.S. and foreign born African Americans.
9am-5pm
9am-5pm
Phone
9am-5pm
9am-5pm
...
...
Community Health Centers
Varies by clinic. See link for more info.
Phone
Phone
Phone
Phone
Phone
...
...
Entre Hermanos*
HIV test and STD tests for Latino men who have sex with men.
1-4pm
...
...
...
...
...
...
Gay City*
HIV test and STD tests. Gay, bi, and trans men.
3-8pm
3-8pm
3-8pm
3-8pm
3-8pm
12:30-5pm
...
Lifelong AIDS Alliance*
HIV test and STD tests. Men who have sex with men.
6:30am-8:30pm
8:30am-5pm
8:30am-5pm
8:30am-5pm
8:30am-5pm
...
3-6:30pm
Mexican Consulate*
HIV test and STD tests. Latinos.
...
...
10-11:30am
...
...
...
...
NEON/SCS*
HIV test and STD tests. Men who have sex with men.
...
...
...
...
3-5pm
...
...
Planned Parenthood
HIV test and STD tests. All.
8am-5pm
8am-7:30pm
8am-5pm
8am-5pm
8am-5pm
8am-4pm
...
POCAAN
HIV test. People of color.
9am-4pm
9am-4pm
9am-4pm
9am-4pm
9am-4pm
...
...
Project Handle
HIV test and STD tests. U.S. and foreign born African Americans.
10am-4pm
10am-4pm
10am-4pm
10am-4pm
10am-4pm
...
...
Seattle Area Support Groups
HIV test. All.
...
Online
Online
Online
...

........ Only on 1st and 3rd ___day of the month
........ Only on 2nd and 4th ___day of the month
........ Walk-in
........ Phone or Online appointments
........ Walk-ins and appointments

* Testing provided by Gay City

Why should I get tested for HIV?

Getting tested has more benefits than not knowing if you have HIV or an STD. It is a part of routine health care if you are sexually active.

Benefits for you:

  • A test can give you peace of mind. It is the only way you can know for sure if you have HIV or an STD.
  • We now have very effective treatments for HIV. They work better the sooner you take them. These medications are available to everyone who needs them in King County, WA.
  • Untreated STDs are leading causes of infertility (inability to make a baby) for both men and women. Untreated HPV can result in certain types of cancer.
  • If you are pregnant, it is vital to get tested for HIV and STDs because medicines can help prevent your baby from getting them.
  • If there is a possibility that your partner has had sex with anyone besides you, you should get tested.

Benefits for your partner:

  • If you know you have HIV or STDs, you can protect your partner from getting infected by not having sex or using a condom.
  • If you have HIV or STDs, you can help your partner get tested. If positive, the sooner they get treated, the healthier they will be.
Why HIV Testing is Important for YOU. (Fact sheet in various languages)

This fact sheet is formatted to be printed as a two sided flyer in color or black and white on letter size paper (8½" x 11"). It is available in Adobe PDF format in these languages:

What types of tests can I get?

STDs

STD tests you can get depend on symptoms you have, risk behaviors, and if your partner has tested positive for an STD. Most STD tests require you to urinate (pee) in a cup, give blood, or have your mouth or anus swabbed. They are all harmless. Body fluids are then tested in a lab, and it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a week to get your results back. Read the CDC's STD fact sheets for more information about testing.

HIV

There are two main types of HIV tests. The most standard HIV tests look for HIV antibodies. A second kind of test, called an RNA test, looks for the actual virus. Your provider will tell you which test is right for you.

Clinic Antibody Test
Home Rapid HIV Antibody Test
RNA Test
What the test looks for antibodies to HIV antibodies to HIV actual virus
Window period 3 weeks to 3 months, depending on manufacturer 3 months 1-2 weeks
Options for testing blood, finger stick, oral swab oral swab blood
Wait time for results 1 week for standard blood test
20 minutes for rapid HIV test
<5 minutes for INSTI
TM rapid HIV test
20 minutes 1-3 weeks

How long should I wait after a possible exposure to get tested?

STD testing

The time it takes from infection to illness for each STD is different, from days to several weeks. Most STDs show no symptoms at all. Talk to a health care provider to find out what is right for you.

You can be exposed to STDs through skin contact (herpes, syphilis, HPV) or by exchanging body fluids like semen and vaginal fluid (chlamydia, gonorrhea) or by fecal matter (Hepatitis A and B). Condoms work very well at preventing most of these exposures. If you think you have STD symptoms, get tested right away. If someone you have had sex with recently told you they were infected or if someone from Public Health called you about your sex partner testing positive, get tested right away. A health care provider may treat you before test results are back if your partner already tested positive for an STD.

HIV

Exposure to HIV is only by exchange of body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. No matter what kind of HIV test you get, there is a short period of time right after infection when the tests won't be able to detect signs of HIV, even if you are infected. This is called a "window period." If you get tested too soon (during the window period), your results may be wrong. How long you must wait depends on the type of test you take

NOTE: if you think you had an exposure to HIV, ask about PEP.

For antibody testing in a clinic setting:

It's best to test three to four weeks after a possible exposure and again at three to six months.

For antibody testing using a home testing kit:

Home HIV test kits can give accurate results three months after infection. If a home test is positive, go to your doctor or a clinic right away for second test to confirm the result.

For RNA testing:

Most people will get accurate results 1-2 weeks after infection, although it may take up to a month or two in rare cases. Because starting people on treatment very soon after infection can help protect their health, if you think you may have been infected, test right away. This is particularly important if you have symptoms that might come from acute HIV (fever, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aching, rash).

What if I test positive?

STDs

For all STDs, there is treatment. For most STDs, there is a cure.

Some STDs like syphilis and chlamydia are easily cured with treatment. Some STDs like HPV may clear on their own. Others like herpes and HIV can be chronic and ongoing and require regular medical treatment.

  1. Tell your sex partner(s) that you have tested positive. They should get tested immediately. Public Health can help you with these conversations.
  2. If you have to take medication, be sure to take all of it. For example, some gonorrhea has grown resistant to treatment because people are not taking all of their medicine.
  3. Stop having sex until you and your partner(s) are finished with treatment.
  4. Go back to get tested again if symptoms reappear.

HIV

HIV treatment and emotions around a diagnosis of HIV can be more complex than other STDs. It's a good idea to think ahead about getting your results. Do you think you'll need extra support? If so, arrange to call a friend, partner, or family member after you get your results. That person might be willing to go with you to your appointment.

If you do test positive, here are some tips on what to do next:

  1. Find any emotional support you need. It may help to talk with family or friends or a professional counselor. Some people need a little time on their own before they start talking about it with others. If you need support, you can get it at:
        • Crisis Clinic: 24-hour support for people in emotional crisis.
          206-461-3222 or call 211.

        • Seattle Area Support Groups: Weekly support groups for people with HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis C, and substance abuse problems.
          206-322-2437.
  1. Find a healthcare provider. Even if you feel healthy, find a healthcare provider and talk about treatment options or other health issues you may have. Treatments for HIV are easier to take than ever, and there's no reason to wait to get into care. A good place to start is Public Health's One on One Program where you can get initial blood tests and medical advice. Call 206-263-2410.

  2. Tell any previous sex partners. If you think you may have exposed someone to HIV, it's important to let them know. If you feel uneasy about doing this, Public Health can help. A Public Health counselor can be with you when you talk with partners or give you some advice on how to do it yourself. A counselor can also contact your partners for you to explain that a previous sex partner has tested positive for HIV and offer free HIV testing. No information is given about you. All of these services are free. Call 206-744-4377.
Where can I learn more about HIV and STDs?