Some people who have been sexually assaulted are concerned about HIV infection. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

The risk of HIV infection from a onetime sexual assault is low. Whether the sexual assault happened recently or in the past, you should talk to a knowledgeable person for advice. A sexual assault counselor can provide support, information and can direct you to testing sites where you can receive free (or very low cost) anonymous HIV testing and counseling. After discussing you situation with a counselor, you may want to be tested for HIV.

Because of the emotional trauma of the assault, you may want to do baseline testing 3-5 days after the assault. Waiting will give you a chance to talk to a counselor and to think about you choices in order to make the best decision for you. A test given shortly after the assault will only tell if you were infected before the assault. It can take up to 6 months to know if you were infected during an assault so it is recommended you be tested for HIV at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months post assault.

The law also gives you the right, in some cases, to request that the offender be tested for HIV. [§19a-581 – §19a-585] A sexual assault counselor or an HIV counselor can tell you about this right. However, if you are concerned about HIV infection, you should be tested.