It’s understandable, you want to learn as much as possible about the entire process before you start. Each of us wanted this. That’s why, with you and your comfort in mind, we have prepared a series of frequently asked questions with answers. Q&A that dispels doubts and explains unclear issues.

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many questions

Knowledge about HIV and other STIs

You can become infected with HIV when a potentially infectious fluid comes into contact with mucous membranes, damaged skin (a fresh, open wound), or is injected directly into our bloodstream (e.g. by sharing needles).

Infectious fluids:

  • blood
  • sperm
  • vaginal and cervical secretions
  • pre-ejaculate
  • breast milk

You cannot get HIV by kissing, hugging, sharing the same towels, or biting a mosquito.

You will NOT get HIV from a person living with HIV who is undergoing treatment and has an undetectable viral load*.

*viremia – the level of viral copies in the blood.

Yes. Treatment of HIV infection involves taking antiretroviral medications every day, usually one tablet. These medicines are designed to inhibit the replication (multiplication) of the virus in the body, so that the virus does not damage the immune system of the infected person.

A person living with HIV who takes medication regularly has an undetectable viral load*.. This condition makes it impossible for an HIV+ person to infect another person.


*Undetectable viral load – in the blood of a person living with HIV, the genetic material of the HIV virus cannot be determined as a result of treatment.

An HIV+ person who is being treated may:

  • Have satisfying sexual contacts.
  • Give birth to HIV-negative children.
  • Have a long and happy life.

Infectious fluids (see “How you can become infected with HIV”), HIV+ people with undetectable viral loadare no longer infectious and contact with them will not cause HIV infection.

The average life expectancy of a person who is quickly diagnosed with HIV infection and starts antiretroviral treatment is comparable to the life expectancy of an uninfected person.

Treatment of HIV infection in Poland is carried out by specialists in infectious diseases, takes place in Immunodeficiency Treatment Clinics and is reimbursed under the Health Policy Program of the Minister of Health entitled: “Antiretroviral treatment of people living with HIV in Poland”.

Have you taken an HIV test and your result is negative? Great. Take care of preventive measures, use condoms and/or get on PrEP!

Remember that a properly used condom protects against HIV infection 100% from the beginning to the end of sexual contact. A condom can also reduce the risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections.

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – involves taking antiretroviral medications to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection. These medicines are used on a doctor’s order in HIV-uninfected people before exposure to infection (e.g. before sex or injection of a substance) and for some time after exposure.

Patients using PrEP correctly gain protection (86 – 99%) against HIV infection.

Keep in mind that PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases.
Want to learn more? Visit the website.

Are you looking for a trusted place to get PrEP in Warsaw?
Make an appointment at the Preventive Medicine and Rehabilitation Center at ul. Nougat 3 in Warsaw.

doctor Karolina Lisek – infectious disease specialist at the Provincial Infectious Diseases Hospital in Warsaw, HIV/AIDS advisor

Thursdays 4 pm – 7 pm (by appointment)

Place under the patronage of the Social Education Foundation, more information can be found here

Venereal diseases, or rather sexually transmitted diseases, are not only HIV. If you are sexually active and/or take psychoactive substances, perform tests for sexually transmitted infections, such as:

  • Syphilis – you will do them for free at the PKD Foundation for Social Education and most PKDs in Poland,
  • HCV (especially if you take psychoactive substances intranasally and you happen to use shared equipment) – you will do them for free at the PKD Foundation for Social Education and most PKDs in Poland,
  • Chlamydia,
  • Gonorrhea.

PCR testing is recommended for chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. The test material should be a swab from the throat/urethra/vaginal vestibule/anus, depending on the type of sexual contact.

Ordering an HIV home test

  1. 1. Complete the anonymous risk assessment survey.
  2. Please provide your shipping details.
  3. Click order HIV test.

Your shipment should reach you within 5 business days. The HIV test is sent discreetly, no one will see the contents of the shipment. Home HIV tests are sent via InPost only (this is subject to change).

You can only order one test at a time. Didn’t have time to order a test? Give it a try next week!

Order wisely! The number of tests is limited. Free home tests are for everyone. If you have the opportunity to use the Consultation and Diagnostic Centers in your area or buy the test yourself, do it. A free home HIV test can save the life of a person who does not have such options.

Why do we collect data?
Complete the anonymous risk assessment survey for sexually transmitted infections and receive a free home HIV test.

Your survey will help us deepen statistics on the epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in Poland, which will result in better planning of preventive activities and the availability of free testing.

Your data is safe!
All information collected while completing the survey will only be used for statistical purposes and planning future preventive activities. The survey data is anonymous and will not be linked to test shipping data. Individual information collected when completing the survey will not be shared with third parties. The personal data protection inspector at the Social Education Foundation is Agnieszka Krzęczko.

Rules of HIV testing

Perform a home rapid HIV test 12 weeks after the last risky event (e.g. sex without condom protection, contact with another person’s blood). This is the time needed for our body to produce antibodies that are detected by a rapid third-generation test.

No. Home tests work on the same principle as rapid screening tests performed in centers. Consultation and Diagnostic Points and laboratories may also offer additional venous blood tests (4th generation tests), which provide a reliable result that excludes HIV infection if performed 6 weeks after a risky situation (unlike third generation cassette tests, which provide reliable result and exclude HIV infection if performed 12 weeks or later after the risky situation.

The HIV test does not require any special preparation! You don’t have to be on an empty stomach. 30 minutes before taking the test, you can drink 0.5 liters of water. A moment before pricking your finger, warm your hands and massage your finger – this will make it easier to collect the drop of blood needed to perform the test.

Important! Before using the HIV test, you should not eat, drink, smoke, or brush your teeth 30 minutes before the test.

A reactive HIV screening test result (two lines) means that infection is suspected and requires confirmation. If your HIV test reacted, perform a confirmation test at the nearest Consultation and Diagnostic Point or perform a laboratory test for HIV at any laboratory in Poland (for a fee).

You can find a list of facilities where you can perform a free confirmation test here.

If you live in Warsaw, you can visit the Consultation and Diagnostic Centers of the Social Education Foundation. You can find them here.

Important! It is mandatory to use a condom during every sexual encounter until HIV diagnosis is completed. More about HIV prevention.

Need some support?
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Yes. There are several situations in which an HIV test may give a false positive result*. This happens rarely. If the rapid HIV test reacts, perform a confirmatory test at the locations indicated here. This is standard procedure.

Do you want to know in what cases an HIV test may come out false positive? See the PTN AIDS guidelines.

*False-positive result – a situation in which the test reacted (suspected infection), even though a given marker (anti-HIV antibodies) was not detected in the tested material.

The gingival HIV test involves collecting secretions from the gums using a spatula test. This is a screening test that detects antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2. The saliva HIV test is as sensitive and specific as the fingerstick HIV test. This test is a good choice for people who are afraid of having their blood drawn.

Do not eat, drink, smoke or brush your teeth 30 minutes before taking your gingival HIV test.

A blood HIV test is an easy way to get tested at home. You don’t have to donate blood at a lab or send it back to us. All you need to do is prick your fingertip with the supplied pricker. You will then transfer a few drops of blood to the location designated by the manufacturer. Each HIV test comes with instructions that guide you step-by-step through the test. The Public Education Foundation sends tests from different manufacturers, so the way each test is performed may vary a bit. Afraid of the sight of needles? No worries. The pricker included in the kit, is designed to be easy to use. The needle in it is invisible.

Useful links

Fundacja Edukacji Społecznej

Akademia Pozytywnego Życia

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