Differences Between Confidential and Anonymous HIV Testing

April 11, 2018

Does it matter where you choose to get tested for HIV? It should not, but it can. Sometimes just having been tested for HIV, regardless of the consequences, can cause difficulties in different areas of your daily life. The stigma related to HIV infection is high. But, there’s also a stigma associated with believing you may be in danger. Concerns about private testing have been declining over time.

That’s especially true since universal HIV testing became recommended. Still, the path that is anonymous may be preferred by some people. It is the safest way to make certain no one learns you got analyzed unless you would like them to. 

Anonymous vs. Confidential

With STD anonymous testing, the clinic doesn’t have any way to identify you as a person. When you come in for testing you are assigned a few. Then you use the exact amount to receive your results. Your name is not related to your test results. You are the one person who knows what they are. 

In contrast, with confidential testing, though your results are kept private, your name is associated with them. They might be released to your insurance company, health care provider, or even the local or state government. HIV isalso, after all, a nationally notifiable disease. 

Making HIV Testing Universal

With changes in the American health system, more and more people are receiving HIV tests as part of their regular care.

That’s a really good thing. The CDC has worked to boost HIV test coverage. It is vital because people that are undiagnosed are at greatest risk of passing on the virus. They’re also unable to benefit from treatment improvements that can help them live long healthy lives.

These changes have also reduced concerns about anonymous versus confidential testing.

In particular, as insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, it is less of a problem if they discover that their clients have HIV. However, some folks still want to be cautious as possible.

Although anonymous HIV testing is still available, sometimes it’s easiest to just get tested by your doctor. That way it may be easier to access early therapy choices that can greatly improve your life. On the other hand, if you’re worried about your physician being able to care for you without any stigma, it’s perfectly reasonable to go to someone else. Some physicians are