Why Test?

Why Test?


Why should I test for HIV?

The only way to know if you have HIV is to have an HIV test. A lot of people feel nervous about it, but the reasons to test far outweigh the reasons not to test. The main reasons why you should get tested:

  • You can commit to staying negative and protect yourself and your partners if you are HIV negative.
  • You can start treatment, have a long and healthy life and protect the people you love if you are HIV positive.

You cannot use your partner’s HIV status as an indication of your own HIV status.

Brothers for Life Ambassador, Sammy Matlou describes why it is important to know one’s status, his delight at a negative diagnosis and his determination to discuss testing with friends. WATCH

When should I have an HIV test?

You can test for HIV at any time. Even if you think that you are not at risk, regular testing is important. Many people only test when they feel sick or they are losing weight. This is incorrect.  HIV can live in your body for years before you  feel sick, and the earlier you know your status the earlier you can start treatment. Treatment can lower the level of the virus in your body to the point that it is undetectable. If your viral load is undetectable and you take your medication, HIV will be suppressed in your body.

Where to test

Government health facilities: All government health facilities offer free HIV testing. You can find a list of hospitals, clinics and their addresses on *120*662# or at www.healthsites.org.za

Community testing: There are many community and health organisations that offer testing at public places like parks and taxi ranks. They move around, and so it is hard to know exactly where they will be on any day. Some of the organisations will make special plans to test at community events if a member of the public requests them to do so. We will post a list of soon.

Self-testing: Many pharmacies sell home testing kits, which you can use to test yourself in the privacy of your own home. Note that if you test HIV positive, you will need to go to your nearest health site where they will confirm if you are indeed positive, and put you on treatment if required.

Pharmacies: Many pharmacies offer testing HIV testing for a fee. These pharmacies have chains in different provinces:



0861 117 427


0860 737 328

Pharma Value

0800 222 629