HIV & AIDS

Award winners for healthcare and business quality standards in 2016 & 2018

I want to do an HIV test



I want to know what is the risk of HIV in oral, vaginal, or anal sex



I would like to do a complete sexual health check-up



I’m in a relationship and have had sex with someone else – I’m very frightened!


I want more information about the symptoms of HIV and AIDS and how it is transmitted


I want to learn more about the window period

Here you can find out more about HIV and AIDS


  • Should we say AIDS or HIV?
  • Does HIV produce symptoms?
  • How is HIV transmitted?
  • In which bodily fluids is HIV present?
  • So, which routes are irrelevant in HIV?
  • How can I protect myself?

The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the end process when defences have been destroyed by the HIV virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and when treatment has not been used to control it. This virus reduces our defences against germs that produce infections. There are two types: HIV 1 and HIV 2. In Europe, more than 99% of cases are type 1. In Africa type 2 is more common.

Normally there are no symptoms once a person in infected. Symptoms associated with HIV infections are very generalised and have a lot in common with cold or flu symptoms. So having cold symptoms does not mean that the person has HIV. You can only catch sex if there has been a risk for HIV.

The acute infection stage (seroconversion):

This is the period from when HIV enters the body up until anibodies against the virus are produced.

This stage normally lasts 2 to 3 months.
In the vast majority of cases this period goes unnoticed, but occassionaly there are clinical signs and symptoms similar to flu (fever, unwellness, sore throat, swollen glands).

However, having flu after sex does not necessarily mean that the person has caught HIV. It is much more likely that they have caught the flu. Also, HIV does not produce nasal mucous.

The asymptomatic stage:

This is the stage between seroconversion and the first signs of immuodeficiency.

It is impossible to know whether someone is infected with HIV from their appearance, because in this stage the patient is completely well.

This period can go on for some 10 years.

AIDS:

This is the last stage of the HIV infection and is seen only when the patient does not receive treatment for HIV. 

It is characterised by a group of diseases such as the Wasting Syndrome or opportunistic infections, infections we see only when the body is abnormally immunodepressed that normally would be easy to fight off.

· HIV does not produce diseases in itself, rather as a result of the immunocompromised state it produces.

· These disease can be serious enough to cause death of a patient with AIDS.

· In this stage some tumours may appear such as Kaposi’s sarcoma.

  • Having sex with infected people, especially in penetration without a condom. The risk of HIV in oral sex is much lower.
  • Infected blood being inoculated into fresh wounds or into the eyes, or in poorly controlled blood transfusions
  • From an infected mother to her baby during labour 
  • Sharing needles with an infected person
  • In tattoos with infected needles
  • Semen and precum
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Blood
  • Mother’s milk
  • Saliva
  • Sweat
  • Tears
  • Urine
  • Faeces

(except those which are contamintaed with blood, semen, precum, vaginal fluids or mother’s milk.)

Therefore we do not see HIV through kissing, hugging, stroking or shaking hands. Nor in sharing cutlery, food or drinks, using the toilet, touching money, public phones, going to the cinema, in the gym, at work, going to school, casual contacts, going to hospital or to see the doctor, on public transport or sharing bathrooms or even a bath with other HIV positive people, nor through mosquito bites or sharing clothes.

You cannot catch HIV by donating blood or doing blood tests as all materials are sterile and single-use.

There is still no effective HIV vaccine so our only defence is to understand the virus. Protection depends on the route of transmission.

· Use protection – by using a condom as a protective barrier with HIV positive poeple or people whose HIV status is unknown.

. If you truly believe that you have been infected by HIV it is better to find out as soon as possible so that a medical team can start to protect your health

. If you think you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, you may be a candidate to receive prophylactic treatment (preventative medication). Write to us straight away or go straight to the nearest Emergency Room.

Confused by what you’ve read? Three suggestions

How can we help you?



Call us for an appointment and we make the decision on which is the appropriate test together.

Please trust our clinical judgement. In Open House we have done more than 12000 HIV tests.

Caution! It is important that you read the information in this page about the window period before taking a decision about doing a test.

I want to do an HIV test and the last sexual contact happened…



  • More than 3 months ago
  • Just 4 weeks have gone by
  • Just 10 days have gone by
  • Between 3 and 10 days
  • Less than 3 days ago
More than 3 months ago

HIV antibody tests

If more than 3 months have gone by then an antibody test is sufficient. Chose one of the following three tests we offer:

Price: 65€

We can do an HIV finger-prick test with results in just 1 minute.

In a variety of studies which included thousands of patients, this HIV test has been shown to detect approximately 99.6% of infections at 3 months.

In less robust studies, HIV detection with this test varied from 97% to 100% of all cases at 3 months.

If you would like more details about how we evaluate our tests’ performance, please click on the image below on the righthand side.

A free medical consultation is always included in the price

Price: 65€
If you are not in a hurry, we can do a 15 minute test.

In a variety of studies which included thousands of patients, this HIV test has been shown to detect approximately 99.99% of infections at 3 months.

In less robust studies, HIV detection with this test varied from 97% to 100% of all cases at 3 months.

If you would like more details about how we evaluate our tests’ performance, please click on the image below on the righthand side.

A free medical consultation is always included in the price

Price: 65€
If you prefer, we can do the test in saliva. It takes just 20 minutes.

In a variety of studies which included thousands of patients, this HIV test has been shown to detect approximately 99.98% of infections at 3 months.

In less robust studies, HIV detection with this test varied from 92% to 100% of all cases at 3 months.

If you would like more details about how we evaluate our tests’ performance, please click on the image to the right.

A free medical consultation is always included in the price

Remember that if you have symptoms compatible with an HIV infection you do not need to wait for the so-called “window period” of 3 months, you can do the test right away.

Just 4 weeks have gone by

The HIV tests which looks for antibodies and the p24 antigen allows us to detect infections after just 4 weeks without having to wait the normal “window period” of 3 months since it detects the same number of cases. We can do this test in 20 minutes.

This test detects between 97 and 99.99% of all cases of VIH.

So the test has performed better in some studies than others, but this is a high level of detection and similar to what we see with a normal HIV test at three months.

The latest clinical guidelines published by health authorities and the manufacturer of this test ( November 2014) recommend that this test performed at 4 weeks is the test of choice, but recommend that it is repeated with a normal test at three months to increase overall performance. This is because this particular test sometimes has difficulty in detecting a subtype of HIV, although it is not common at all in Europe.

In Spain we normally reference the National Guidelines of the UK because we do not have a national consensus protocol about the use of the various HIV tests. Here you can read why the British National Health Servce has now adopted this kind of test as routine:

A false positive (a mistakenly positive result in someone who is HIV negative) in the Public Health sector ocurrs about 10 times more commonly than in Open House, where we see this type of error around 1 in every 3000 tests.

We can do this test in 20 minutes:

If if there’s no hurry, in 24 hours:

A free medical consultation is always included in the price

Remember that if you have symptoms compatible with an HIV infection you do not need to wait for the so-called “window period” of 3 months, you can do the test right away.

Just 10 days have gone by

Qualitative PCR:

Once 10 days have gone by, the technique called Qualitative PCR (or nucleic acid amplification) can be used.

PCR: direct detection of the virus’ genetic material:

Price: 180€
Open House has adquired a technology that allows us to detect the genetic material of the virus just 10 days following a possible infection. Also we can get results back to you in just 90 minutes.

The third day after an infection with HIV, the virus starts to replicate at an exponential rate. The infected cells begin to release millions of copies of virus into the blood stream. All HIV tests would be negative at this point, but if we search directly for the genetic material of the virus (RNA) we can identify early infections.

Normally, at day 10 following infection there are tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of copies of the virus detectable in every millilitre of blood. Our test is so sensitive if can detect just 300 copies / mL of blood. This technique is used to monitor blood donated for transfusiones.

In other laboratories the results of this test may take several days, but in Open House we can do this test in just 90 minutes.

Eliminating false positive results:

In the past (and also in some laboratories today) this PCR technique has been susceptible to a problem of false positive results (somebody without HIV getting a mistakenly positive result). In fact, some health authorities have been cautious about its use.

The new technique we have at Open House eliminates this possibility giving you a reliable result.

Guaranteeing detection of both recent and established infections:

This technique is unbeatable in the detection of early infections and is one of the tests used to screen blood donated for transfusions, but there are some people infected with HIV who would get a negative result with this new technique.

This happens because their bodies have been able to control the virus replication and so no genetic material gets released into the blood stream.

Therefore, at Open House, when we do this PCR test, we always do a normal antibody test at the same time. You can read more about this test in the previous section.

Price: 180€
We can do this PCR test with an antibody test at the same time getting results back to you in just 90 minutes. For obvious reasons, we can’t offer this test to people with appointments in the last 90 minutes of each shift as there is not enough time to get the results back to you.

Between 3 and 10 days

If three days have now gone by then the possibility of administering “shock treatment” is no longer an option (see the next section). But if you still haven’t reached the 10 days cut-off point then we are unable to do the PCR test (see the previous section)

You will have to wait a few more days which may seem like a torture to you, but in our experience when most people read for the first time what the true risks of HIV are in each kind of sex (oral, vaginal and anal) they feel calmer.

If you’re not sure if the sex you have had is considered a risk for HIV, this information is available in our website.

Less than 3 days ago

If 3 days have still not gone by since the last high risk contact, a possibility exists which consists in administrating anti-HIV mediation to dramatically reduce the possibilities of infection. This treament is not for everybody, nor for all kinds of sexual contacts but ….

– if you have had vaginal or anal sex with someone who you know has HIV

– if you have had passive anal sex with someone with an unknown HIV status

….it may be possible that you are a candidate. You need to go to the Emergency Room in the first 72 hours and ask for their help.


If you have any questions about your situation please do contact us

If you would like an appointment please check our opening times first

Relevant scientific publications

Our experience in HIV testing:


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HIV tests performed:


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Cases of HIV diagnosed:


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Percentage of false positive results (errors)

What would you like to do now?


I want to do an HIV test



I want to know what is the risk of HIV in oral, vaginal, or anal sex



I would like to do a complete sexual health check-up



I’m in a relationship and have had sex with someone else – I’m very frightened!


I want more information about the symptoms of HIV and AIDS and how it is transmitted


I want to learn more about the window period

Where to find us

Calle Atocha 117, Madrid

Metro: L1 Atocha / Antón Martín

Contact Us

Call Us - 91 429 49 59

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Centro Médico Openhouse SLU 2018 ®

Centro Médico Openhouse SLU 2018 ®