Antibodies help to prevent infection. Most vaccines cause the body to make antibodies. If you get an HIV vaccine, your body may make antibodies to HIV. However, standard HIV tests search for HIV antibodies, a sign of HIV infection for people who have not previously received an HIV vaccine. If you get a standard HIV test after receiving an HIV vaccine, your HIV test results could come back positive even if you do not have HIV. This is called a VISP (Vaccine-Induced Seropositive) test result. To avoid this confusion, our study sites use different kinds of HIV tests that look for the virus itself, not antibodies.
You can get the right HIV test at the study site for free. After you leave the study, you can continue to go to your study site to request HIV testing. If you are no longer located near your study site, the HVTN VISP Testing Service can help you get HIV testing in your area. The testing is free.
Getting the right test will prevent an incorrect diagnosis of HIV. Your study site or the VISP Testing Service can provide the right test.
Standard HIV tests that look for antibodies are quick, reliable and affordable. Tests that look for the virus are expensive and not commonly used for an initial diagnosis.
“Opt-out” testing for HIV means that HIV tests may be done routinely unless a patient refuses to have the testing done.
For more information on the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations for HIV testing in the U.S., please visit:
For (U.S.) state-specific information, please visit:
For other information about HIV testing guidelines in your country, please visit:
You should tell your healthcare provider about your HIV vaccine study participation and refuse HIV testing. Even if your healthcare provider does not mention the HIV test, be sure to tell them that you do not want an HIV test because you are (or were) an HIV vaccine study participant.
No one can force you to have an HIV test for any reason.
If you have tested VISP, the antibodies may fade quickly or they may last for several years. In some cases, participants continue to test VISP for more than 20 years.
For U.S. participants, call the HVTN VISP Testing Service at 1.800.327.2932 during business hours, Pacific Time. For participants outside the U.S., call your study site and they can assist you with testing for HIV. If you are unable to reach someone at your study site, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request testing.
The HVTN VISP Testing Service provides HIV testing for participants who have received a study HIV vaccine in a National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Division of AIDS (DAIDS)-funded HIV preventive vaccine trial and who are no longer able to be tested at their study site.
Yes. All of your information will be stored in a limited-access, password-protected, secure computer database. Access to your information will be limited to the HVTN VISP counselors. No identifying information concerning the testing will be released to any third party without your written approval, except when required by law.
Approximately 2 weeks.
If you are not sure if you received an HIV vaccine, call the HVTN VISP Testing Service 1.800.327.2932.
If you are currently enrolled in an HIV vaccine trial, your testing is provided by your trial site. If for some reason you are unable to be tested at your site, you can contact your study site or the HVTN VISP Testing Service at US toll free: 1.800.327.2932.