Information and Advice HIV How do I know if I have HIV? The only way to know if you have HIV or not is to have an HIV test. The earlier you know your HIV status, the less impact the virus will have on your health. The majority of people who test early and start treatment, live a long and healthy life. HIV testing is free and confidential and you don’t have to use your real name if you prefer not to. More information about testing When to test? Test at the start of a relationship as part of a full sexual health screen check-up. After unprotected (condomless) sex that could have put you at risk of HIV you should always take a test. Test at least once a year or more frequently if having sex without condoms with new or casual partners. Remember - a negative test result in the past is no longer accurate of you have taken risks since.