National HIV Testing Day: Take the Test, Take Control

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How Do HIV Tests Work?

The most common HIV tests detect HIV antibodies, the substances the body creates in response to becoming infected with HIV. The amount of time it takes for the body to produce these antibodies can vary from person to person, but the CDC estimates that most people develop detectable antibodies that can be detected by the most commonly used tests in the United States within 2 to 8 weeks (the average is 25 days) of their infection. Ninety-seven percent of people develop detectable antibodies in the first three months. 

(Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

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