HIV Testing & Counseling
District Health Department No. 2 offers free, confidential and anonymous HIV testing. Certified testing/counseling personnel are available to assist those individuals requesting HIV testing.
Individuals interested in receiving an HIV test need to call: 1-800-504-2650 and make an appointment. To assist you in planning your visit, it generally takes 25-35 minutes to complete the required forms and to obtain a sample. District Health Department No. 2 utilizes Alere Determine HIV-1/2 AG/AB Combo test. Result are typically available in just 20 minutes with just a simple drop of blood from a finger stick.
For persons testing for the first time, the components of the initial visit are:
- Reviewing confidentiality policies of testing as established by the State of Michigan and Notice of Privacy Practices Act.
- Reviewing health information pertaining to HIV / AIDS.
- Completion of a risk assessment.
- Discussing and establishing a risk reduction plan (as needed).
- Obtaining a blood sample for testing.
District Health Department No. 2 encourages individuals to receive an HIV test especially if a risk indicator is identified. A risk indicator would be one or more of the following:
- People who have or had a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- People who have shared needles or who have a history of any drug use, and those engaging in sexual behaviors while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Men who have sex with other Men.
- Men or women who have unprotected sex with anyone whose HIV status is unknown.
- People who have had more than one sexual partner.
- People who have had sex with prostitutes (male or female)
- People who received blood products or blood transfusions between 1978 and 1985.
- People who exchange sex for drugs or money.
- People who are infected with tuberculosis.
- People who have had exposure to the blood of someone who may be infected.
- People who have had sex with any person from the above list, particularly with injecting drug users.
- Women who are pregnant** If a woman is pregnant and has experienced one or more of the risk factors noted above, she may be infected and pass the HIV virus on to her unborn child while being pregnant, during delivery and following birth through breast feeding her baby.
After the test:
If your test results are NEGATIVE (undetected HIV infection), your HIV Counselor will review with you strategies to reduce your risk of becoming infected.
If your test results are POSITIVE (possible HIV infection) your HIV Counselor will recommend you immediately have another test to confirm results by having a blood draw taken. The sample will be sent to a certified laboratory to confirm the positive rapid test. Your HIV Counselor will also review with you precautions you should take to prevent infecting others until confirmatory results are received.
REMEMBER: THERE IS NO CURE FOR HIV/AIDS; HOWEVER, THERE IS TREATMENT AVAILABLE.
NOTE: A PERSON CAN HAVE HIV INFECTION FOR MANY YEARS WITHOUT HAVING AIDS OR LOOKING OR FEELING SICK.
ALSO: SOMETIMES A PERSON CAN HAVE ANOTHER KIND OF STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) WITHOUT ANY SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS. SOMETIMES THE SYMPTOMS GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN, BUT THE INFECTION IS STILL THERE UNTIL IT IS TREATED. WE WOULD RECOMMEND TESTING FOR ALL STD’S.
PrEP and HIV Prevention
PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxsis, and it’s the use of anti-hIV medications to keep HIV negative people from contracting HIV. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV.
PrEP has been around in the U.S. since 2012, however many people still don’t know about it. And those who do know what PrEP is, may not know enough about it to make an informed decision on whether or not to use it. For more information ask your HIV Counselor.