Test and rapid test for hiv

You can get yourself tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections free of charge. This article contains information on the test and explains how you can take the rapid test for HIV and a number of other sexually transmitted infections.

Anyone can ask their GP for a test for HIV or other sexually transmitted infection.  Both testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are free in Norway. 

Most GPs send the sample to a laboratory, and it takes a few days before you get an answer. For some people, one of the many centres offering rapid tests for HIV can be an alternative or supplement to regular health check-ups with the GP. 

Why you should take an HIV test 

If you are unsure, it is best to know your HIV status. If your test result is negative, you can stop worrying about your health. If you test positive, you will be given the necessary support to prevent serious illness associated with your HIV infection. An untreated HIV infection can severely weaken your immune system and lead to permanent and serious health problems. 

If you are HIV-positive, receiving the right medical treatment will minimise the risk of you infecting other people. Not everyone who becomes infected with HIV experiences severe symptoms, so you can become infected without being aware of it. It is therefore risky to wait too long to be tested. 

If you have an active sexual life with multiple partners, it is recommended that you test yourself routinely at least once a year. You should test yourself more often if you have unsafe sex or if a condom you or your partner is using splits. If you have had unprotected sex in a country with a high incidence of HIV you are at greater risk of becoming infected with HIV. The same goes for sexually active men who have sex with other men. 

PEP may be relevant in risk situations 

If you have been in a situation where you were exposed to a risk of infection during the last 48 hours, you can contact the emergency medical service and ask to take a course of medication which can help prevent the HIV virus from becoming established in your body. This course is known as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).  The course should be started as soon as possible, and preferably within 4 hours. If the doctor thinks you need treatment, it is free. 

The assault centre provides free help, testing and treatment to people who have been subjected to abuse or rape. 

What the rapid HIV test involves 

You finger will be pricked with a needle. The drop of blood that is produced is mixed with chemicals and the result will be known in just a few seconds. Results from the rapid test are considered to be very reliable, but if your result is positive, a normal blood sample will always be taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis. 

The result is confidential 

Healthcare professionals have a duty of confidentiality and you are entitled to confidential treatment. In connection with the test, any questions you may have about safer sex will be answered and you will receive information on how HIV infection is passed on to other people. 

You also have a chance to bring up other issues concerning sexual challenges, sexual identity, living with a partner and relationships generally. 

If you test negative 

Most people test negative. A negative test is a good sign that you are not infected with HIV. The result of an HIV test is about 80% certain around two to three weeks after you become infected. Not until three months later will the result of the test be 100% certain. If less than three months have passed, you can arrange another appointment for a 100% reliable test. 

A negative test will not protect you against infection in the future, and it is important that you continue to take precautions in order to avoid infection. This will help you avoid worries and anxiety which could take away the pleasure of otherwise enjoyable sexual experiences. 

​​If you test positive

With proper medical follow-up and support, it is possible to live a long and good life as an HIV-positive person. If you are HIV-positive, receiving the right medical treatment will minimise the risk of you infecting other people. The treatment is free. 

Where you can take the rapid HIV test 

A rapid test will give you the result instantly and can be taken anonymously. Anyone who has had unprotected sex with someone they do not know the HIV status of should consider getting themselves tested for HIV. 

You can take a rapid HIV test at the following centres. Most centres will also be able to test you for other sexually transmitted infections. Visit the links below to find information about the services they provide and their opening hours. 

The Minuttest.no service is a rapid test service which is specifically intended for immigrants in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Haugesund.

Oslo

Olafia Clinic – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections.

Checkpoint– anonymous rapid test for men who have sex with other men (msm) – run by volunteer peer supporters. They offer rapid tests for both HIV and syphilis, as well as tests for gonorrhoea, chlamydia and mycoplasma. The service is free and anonymous.

Sex og samfunn – centre for young sexuality – offers free drop-in service covering tests for all sexually transmitted infections for anyone under the age of 25.

​Sex og samfunn – health service for people who buy sex – offers the rapid HIV test to anyone who buys sex or is undergoing PEP (post exposure prophylaxis).

Aksept – senter for alle berørt av hiv – offers the rapid HIV test.

Health Centre for Undocumented Migrants – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections.

Nadheim – service for people who sell or have sold sexual services – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections.

Pro Sentret – health service for people who sell or have sold sexual services - offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections. 

Bergen

Haukeland University Hospital – Outpatient clinic for sexually transmitted infections – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections.

Church City Mission in Bergen – Living with HIV – offers the rapid HIV test.

Health Centre for Undocumented Migrants – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections. 

Stavanger

Stavanger University Hospital – Outpatient clinic for sexually transmitted infections – offers testing for all sexually transmitted infections.

Nadheim - service for people who sells or has sold sexual services, independently of gender, nationality, and life circumstances – offers the rapid HIV test.

Trondheim

St. Olav’s Hospital – Outpatient clinic for skin and venereal diseases – offers testing for all sexually transmitted infections.

Church City Mission Aksept Trondheim - offers the rapid HIV test. 

Tromsø

Social Medical Center – offers the rapid HIV test and testing for all sexually transmitted infections.

Kristiansand

Sørlandet Hospital Kristiansand – low-threshold service for testing of sexually transmitted infections

Sentrum legesenter – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections.

Haugesund

Testivest.no – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections (but not the rapid HIV test).

Kirkenes

Kirkenes legesenter – offers tests for all sexually transmitted infections.

HivNorge

HivNorge is a party-politically and religiously independent national interest organization for people living with HIV, relatives and others affected or preoccupied with HIV.

Aksept

An open house and resource center for everyone affected by HIV (in Norwegian).

Olafiaklinikken

Center for counseling, examination and treatment of sexually transmitted infections - Oslo universitetssykehus (in Norwegian).

Minuttest

Fast, anonymous and free quick test for HIV.

Content provided by The Norwegian Directorate of Health

The Norwegian Directorate of Health. Test and rapid test for hiv . [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Tuesday, April 16, 2024 [retrieved Thursday, June 20, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/sykdom/hiv-aids/rapid-HIV-test/

Last updated Tuesday, April 16, 2024