HIV Prevention Services
We offer free, anonymous, rapid HIV testing on weekends.
Anonymous HIV testing means that we do not collect identifying information. No one will know that you had an HIV test here. This also means that we will not be able to give you a copy of your result to take away with you. We only offer anonymous HIV testing, which means you have to obtain the results in person.
Rapid HIV testing means that you will be able to get your HIV test result approximately 40 minutes after your blood sample is drawn. This screening test looks for anything that resembles HIV antibodies; in other words, it is a highly sensitive test. There are two possible results for the HIV rapid test: non-reactive and reactive.
What do my results mean?
A Non-reactive (negative) result means that the test did not detect any HIV antibodies at this time. However, when a person becomes infected with HIV, the body takes time to develop enough antibodies to show up on an HIV test. From the time of HIV infection, it can take between 2 weeks and 6 months to develop enough antibodies, with the majority of people developing detectable antibodies by the end of the 3rd month. The time when a person may be infected with HIV, but not have enough antibodies to detect, is called the "window period." You may want to consider retesting if you have had any risk within this window period.
A Reactive (preliminary positive) result means that we need to perform a confirmatory test before a diagnosis of HIV can be established. We will automatically run this second test on reactive results and you will be able to receive a confirmed result in 1-2 weeks.
Saturday: Recent change in hours! We will now be offering HIV tests to Saturday Services Clients from 2-3pm (these appointments will be scheduled earlier in the day by the Saturday Services Section and will be for women/trans/gender non-conforming clients only). We will be offering HIV testing and counseling on a walk-in basis from 3-5pm to all clients.
Sundays: For all clients, drop-in 4-7pm
This service is offered on a drop-in, first-come first-serve basis for all clients. Sign-in starts as early as 4:00 p.m., and we may possibly see you then if you are only here for an HIV test. Doors remain open until 7:00, which means that if you sign in for services by 7:00 p.m., and there are still open slots, we will test you that evening. However, we recommend that you arrive early to increase the probability of being tested that day.
Since 1989, the Gay Men's Health Collective (GMHC) of the Berkeley Free Clinic has hosted an Anonymous Test Site (ATS) in collaboration with the Pacific Center and the City of Berkeley. In September 1996, the HPS officially took on sole responsibility for administrating the ATS contract. We think we are the best test site in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each Sunday, with an average of 6 volunteer test counselors and waiting room educators, we provide client-centered HIV prevention education and referrals to approximately 50 clients. The HPS has limited street outreach services as well. Volunteers from the HPS and GMHC have also provided free HIV and STD testing and counseling at Berkeley's Steamworks since 1988. On World AIDS Day on December 1, 2000, the HPS provided 12 hours of HIV testing to nearly 50 clients. Other volunteer sections also provide some HIV/STD prevention education and referrals in addition to their primary areas of expertise. The Gay Men's Health Collective offers a Men's STD testing and treatment clinic on Sunday nights alongside the HPS Anonymous Test Site.