Sample type needed
From 10 days
Who is this test suitable for?
Men and women at risk
Within 5 days from when your sample is received in the lab
HIV cannot be cured, but can be managed with antiretroviral therapy (ART)
Where can I get tested?
All Better2Know centres
Read more about getting an HIV Certificate for visa or medical purposes.
What is HIV/ AIDS?
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can gradually destroy an infected person's immune system, reducing their body’s ability to fight infection and cancers. This occurs due to the reduced number of CD4 cells which defend our body against infection and disease.
As well as increasing your risk of catching other STIs, HIV can also lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This is a term which describes when a person’s immune system can no longer cope because of the damage caused by HIV. This can be fatal, resulting in the development of one or more specific illnesses or infections that the body would usually be able to combat naturally.
How can I get HIV?
The body fluids that contain enough HIV to infect someone are:
- Seminal fluid (ejaculate)
- Vaginal fluids, including menstrual fluids
- Breast milk
- Mucus found in the rectum
- Pre-cum (the fluid that the penis produces for lubrication before ejaculation).
You can learn more about HIV transmission here.
What are the signs and symptoms of HIV?
The first symptoms can appear in the first six weeks of infection. After this, many people may experience no symptoms for years.
Common symptoms of infection include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Skin rashes, especially on your face, genitals or anus
- An increase in herpes ulcers or thrush infections in your mouth and genitals
- Sweats, especially at night
- Unusual tiredness
- Nausea or loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck, groin or armpits.
You can read more about the symptoms of HIV here.
These symptoms can all be caused by conditions other than HIV and do not mean you have the virus.
However, if you experience all or some of these symptoms it is a good idea to get a test, especially if you have:
- Engaged in high-risk activity including unprotected sex or injecting drugs,
- Had sex with multiple partners,
- Had unprotected penetrative sex with someone who is infected,
- Received an injection or transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products,
- Received a donation of semen (artificial insemination), had skin grafts, or organ transplants taken from someone who is infected.
It is also possible for a mother who is infected to pass the infection to her baby. This can occur during pregnancy, at birth and through breastfeeding.
How can I get tested for HIV?
Knowing your HIV status is always beneficial for your long term health. The test needs a sample of blood from your arm, or from a pin prick on your finger.
There are different types of HIV tests which can detect the virus at varying incubation periods. An "incubation" or "window" period is the time between potential exposure to HIV and accurate detection with an HIV test.
28-Day HIV DUO Test (4th Generation)
This DUO test combines an antibody test for types 1 and 2 of the virus, with an antigen test for the p24 antigen. The test is suitable for those who may have been exposed at least 28 days before their test. This is a highly reliable, 4th Generation HIV test and is included in several Better2Know screens, including our Platinum Screen and Full Screen.
This HIV test can detect the virus at just 10 days after any potential exposure. It tests for the presence of the viral genetic material of HIV 1 in your blood sample. This HIV test is also available as part of our Early Detection Screen.
26-Day Instant HIV Test (4th Generation)
This test is highly accurate at 26 days after potential exposure to HIV. It combines testing for HIV 1 and 2 antibodies, and the p24 antigen. Using a single blood sample, you will receive your results within 30 minutes while you wait at the clinic. The Better2Know Instant HIV test is the only 4th Generation Instant HIV test available.
90-Day HIV Test (3rd Generation)
This HIV test, which detects HIV antibodies only, is suitable for exposure that occured at least 3 months ago. It is the standard test offered by many sexual health clinics. Better2Know does not offer the 90-day test anymore as it is no longer the best HIV test we can provide for you.
Antibodies are produced by the body in response to disease. If you have been infected with HIV, your body will produce antibodies to try to fight the infection. These antibodies can be detected through testing by the means of a blood sample.
Learn more about getting tested for HIV with our HIV pre-test counselling.
Middle East HIV Test Clinics
Better2Know has HIV test clinics across the Middle East. Our most popular include:
- HIV Test in Dubai
- HIV Test in Abu Dhabi
- HIV Test in Ajman
- HIV Test in Doha
- HIV Test in Kuwait City
- HIV Test in Manama
- HIV Test in Muscat
- HIV Test in Riyadh
If you choose to test with Better2Know we will not disclose to anyone that you have attended an appointment. However, the laboratory where your sample is analysed will follow national regulations in the event of a positive test. This may include providing photographic ID at the time of giving the sample. All Better2Know screens are flexible and you can choose which STIs you wish to be tested for.
Worldwide Testing Options
Better2Know offers HIV testing around the world. If you do not want to have your HIV test in the Middle East, we can help you with other locations: including London, Dublin, Madrid, Sydney and Johannesburg. The decision is always yours on where to test.
The advantages of choosing Better2Know
- Accurate Results from our accredited laboratory.
- Fast Results. Available 1 to 5 days once your sample is received at our laboratory.
- Locations. We have testing locations across the Middle East and the world.
- Facilities. Our facilities are modern and clean.
- Non-Judgmental. Our staff are friendly and non-judgmental.
Here are some of the most recent statistics about HIV in the Middle East:
- There are over 36 million people living with HIV worldwide including men, women and children.
- In 2021, over 16 million people worldwide were receiving antiretroviral therapy.
- The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has one of the lowest HIV prevalence rates in the world (0.1%).
- The low HIV prevalence seen among the general population in MENA is thought to be due to religious and cultural values, which discourage pre-marital sex and encourage married people to be faithful.
- Though the number of people living with HIV in MENA is low compared with other parts of the world, it currently has one of the world's fastest growing epidemics.
Why should I test for HIV?
Treatment has advanced significantly over the last ten years or so, and being HIV positive is no longer considered to be a fatal condition.
If you are positive, avoiding testing does not make the virus go away. It does allow the virus to silently damage your health. The longer someone goes untested and untreated, the more chance that the treatment will not work as well as it would if started sooner.
Testing can save your life and protect others too. You can pass the virus onto others if you have sex without a condom, or practice any other unsafe sexual or lifestyle behaviour.