I GET AN HIV TEST?”
you’ve ever taken a risk with sex or with needles – even
just one time – then getting an HIV test is the smart thing to
do. Risky behaviors
include having unprotected sex or sharing needles for drug use,
piercing, or tattooing.
you get tested, a counselor will tell you about the testing
process. An HIV
test looks for antibodies that the immune system makes to fight
HIV. If these
antibodies are found, then the test result is called
means that you have been infected with HIV, the virus that
counselor will talk with you about HIV/AIDS and help you see if
you are taking any risks. He
or she will make sure you know how to protect yourself from HIV
infection. A counselor will explain “window period” – if
your test is negative but you’ve taken any risk recently, then
you will need a second test after a few months to be sure
you’re not infected. After
you’ve had the test, you’ll be given an appointment to come
back in about two weeks for your results.
The counselor will answer any questions you may have.
Here’s how knowing your HIV status helps
you test negative after the “window period”
has passed, then you can look on this as a new beginning.
From now on, if you avoid all risky behaviors, then
you will stay “HIV-free”
If you test positive, getting medical care
right away can help you stay
as healthy as possible, even though HIV infection is
is simple. It can
be done using a blood sample, a urine sample, or by taking some
cells from inside your mouth.
You can ask your own health care provider for an HIV
test, visit a registered test site, or go to special community
events where HIV tests are being given.
At publicly funded sites, the test will be free or the
cost may be lowered, depending on your income.
No one is refused a test due to not being able to pay.
find where registered HIV test sites are located in Broward,
call the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline http://www.tcrs211.org/hiv/statistics.htm
or call the Broward County Health Department at: 954-467-4721
check out the locations on the Department of Health’s website http://apps3.doh.state.fl.us/dcontrol/aids/clinicresults2.cfm?county=Broward
to Jolene Mullins, Early Intervention Specialist, Broward County
Health Dept., for help on this article.