About HIV Testing

HIV testing in Japan can easily be done with a confidential home test kit or at a dedicated testing center. If you have any concerns about possible infection, please do get tested.

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About HIV and AIDS in Japan

While you do not hear too much in the media about HIV in Japan, the fact is that HIV and AIDS exist in Japan as in other parts of the world. 70% of all HIV infection cases in Japan are people in their 20’s and 30’s. The largest number of cases of HIV infection in Japan are reported in the Tokyo area. HIV and AIDS growth in Japan has largely leveled off in all regions with the exception of Tokyo and Kyushu.

HIV vial testing

How long after a possible exposure should I be tested for HIV?

You can become infected by the HIV-1 virus through sexual contact, sharing of needles or a tainted blood transfusion. The HIV-1 Virus can be detected about 3-4 weeks after a person is infected. It is important to note that there are some cases where the virus is not detectable in the 3-4 week period. If you get tested during this period and your results are negative (no virus detected), it is recommended to get tested again at the 3 month mark, just to be sure.

When should I get an HIV test?

If you have any concern about possible exposure to HIV or think you are at risk, please get tested four weeks after possible exposure. It can take up to three months for HIV antibodies to be detected, but in most cases detection is possible after the initial four weeks following exposure to HIV. For your own physical and mental wellbeing, as well as for those around you, we recommend that you get tested.

HIV testing in Japan

The following information will guide you through the test options and procedures for HIV testing in Japan.

What kind of tests are available in Japan?

You have two choices in Japan: 1) Obtain an HIV home test kit: This is the most convenient option as you do not have to visit a testing center. These kits are easy-to use, accurate and confidential. You take a small drop of blood, put it in vial and send it to the testing lab using the enclosed packaging. Your results are received within 7-10 days. 2) Go to a HIV Testing Center: There are a number of testing centers across Japan that offer multilingual services for foreign nationals. All testing centers are confidential. Some provide their services free of charge and others require a fee. Some centers offer initial results (rapid test) within 30 minutes, however a follow-up test to confirm results (confirmatory test) will be conducted and you will receive the results about one week later. You may be required to return to the testing center to receive your results.

What does HIV negative mean?

An HIV negative test result means that a person is most likely not infected with HIV. Even with an HIV negative result is is recommended to test yourself again after three months. It is also necessary to get an HIV test if you have any additional risk of exposure to HIV.

What does HIV positive mean?

An HIV positive test result means that a person is infected with HIV. Without treatment, HIV can replicate quickly in the body weakening the immune system, which can lead to many types of diseases and the onset of AIDS. There are many anti-HIV drugs with lower side effects now available. Some of these can be taken once a day. Although the HIV virus cannot be completely purged from the body, It is possible to delay the progression of HIV. It is important to start anti-HIV treatment as early as possible to prevent further damage to the immune system. With proper treatment and care, many people can now live an active and full life. If you test positive for HIV, you will be referred to an HIV specialist. If such referrals aren’t provided at the time, there are telephone counseling services to support you. If you are concerned about anything, including medical expenses, you can also consult with your doctor.

HIV Testing Sites with Bi-/Multi-lingual Services

CiRCLE – SAPPORO (English / Free, anonymous HIV testing / By appointment only) http://www.circle-sapporo.com/english/index-en.html

Shinjuku-ku Public Health Centre (English, Portuguese, Spanish & Thai / Free, anonymous HIV testing) ※Click the URL below (PDF file) for location and dates. http://www.city.shinjuku.lg.jp/content/000211891.pdf http://www.foreign.city.shinjuku.lg.jp/en/kenko/kenko_10/

Public HIV Testing Site (English, Spanish, Portuguese & Thai / Free, anonymous HIV testing) ※Click the URL below for dates and other details. http://www.pref.kanagawa.jp/cnt/f6943/

Kobayashi International Clinic (English, Korean, Tagalog, Spanish & Vietnamese / Fees will be charged.) 【Hours】 Weekdays: 9:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. / 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays: 9:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. 【Closed】 Wednesdays, Sundays & Japan’s public holidays 【Languages Spoken】 ・English, Korean & Tagalog: During consultation hours ・Thai: During consultation hours* *Limited to asking symptoms and giving explanation of tests and medications. An interpreter available on Tuesdays. If you would like to have the interpreter attended during consultation, please contact the clinic prior to your visit. ・Spanish: During consultation hours** **Limited to asking symptoms and giving explanation of tests and medications. ・Vietnamese: Saturday, once a month. Please contact the clinic for further information. 【Contact】 TEL: 046-263-1380 FAX: 046-263-0919

Misao Health Clinic (English / Fees will be charged.) http://www.docmisao.jp/english/index.html

Shimogyo Public Health Centre – 2nd floor (English / Free, anonymous HIV testing / By appointment only) Evening Rapid HIV testing on Thursdays. An interpretation service available by appointment. If you need an interpreter, please tell the centre at the time you make your HIV test appointment. Days & Hours: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month (no testing if it falls on a holiday) 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Type of Testing : Rapid HIV testing ※The test results will be given in about 1 hour. Positive test results will require confirmatory testing. In such case, the confirmatory test results will be given in 2 weeks, on the next test day. Appointment request & Contact (in English): CHARM 06-6354-5901 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday

Taiyujicho Tanimachi Clinic (English / Fees will be charged.) http://www.stellamate-clinic.org/cat_1/

Matsuyama-shi Public Health Centre (English & Chinese / Free, anonymous HIV & STI testing / By appointment only) Both of the appointment request for testing and the registration on test day are available in Japanese only. Consultation and counseling on test day will be offered in English or Chinese, depending on your preference. Note that bilingual staff is not always on duty. 【Test Days & Hours】 Morning: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., every Monday of the month (no testing if it falls on a holiday) Evening: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., 2nd Monday of the month (no testing if it falls on a holiday) ※The test results will be given in 1 week after the testing. 【Types of Testing】 HIV antibody, Syphilis and Hepatitis B & C 【Appointment request & Contact】 TEL:089-911-1815 (Direct line)

English Telephone Consultation

For any information regarding HIV or AIDS, please contact the offices below.

  • 03-5774-0992 – Tokyo English Life Line (English)
  • 03-5285-8088 – AMDA International Medical Information Center Tokyo (English, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Spanish)
  • 050-3424-0195 – Services for the Health in Asian & African Resions (English) 
  • 045-201-8808 – AIDS Network Yokohama (English)
  • 06-6354-5901 – CHARM (Spanish, Portuguese, English)
  • 092-715-8395 – AIDS Workers Fukuoka (English)
  • 06-6354-5901 – CHARM (Filipino, English)
  • 03-5259-0256 – Japan HIV Center Tokyo (English)

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