Where To Go For Tests And AdviceSunday, April 21, 2013 - 15:39
Deciding where to go for counseling and testing depends on the area where you live. There are different counseling and testing places from which to choose. These options include:
- Publicly funded HIV testing centers
- Community health clinics
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics
- Family planning clinics
- Hospital clinics
- Drug treatment facilities
- TB clinics
- A doctor's office
If a person has his or her own healthcare provider, he or she may feel more comfortable with the staff who will counsel and offer testing. If the center can provide immune system monitoring and medical care to people infected with HIV, it might speed up the beginning of medical treatment.
Some counseling and testing centers offer special features. For instance, drug users can receive counseling, testing, and help for addiction at a drug treatment facility.
Need To Know:
Keeping The Results Confidential
At some centers, such as doctor's offices or clinics, information about the test result may become part of a patient's medical record and may be seen by healthcare workers, insurers, or employers. The insurance company may know the patient's HIV status if he or she makes a claim for health insurance benefits or applies for life insurance or disability insurance.
Ask the testing counselor how they will protect the test results. Most counseling and testing centers follow one of two policies:
Some Things Not To Do
Do not go to a hospital emergency room to be counseled and tested. People should go to an emergency room only if they have a health problem that demands urgent attention.
Do not give blood at a blood donation center as a way to get tested for HIV
After Taking The Test
The waiting period between taking the test and learning the results can produce anxiety and tension. Some people decide during this time that they do not want to know their test result and never return to receive it. It is very important that everyone who is tested finishes the process and finds out the test result in spite of their anxiety.
It is also important that people waiting for results act as if they were infected and could transmit the
- Do not have unprotected sex
- Do not have sex at all
- Do not share needles
- Do not share razor blades or toothbrushes
- Do not donate blood or organs
Here is what to expect after the test result comes in:
- The counselor should inform you of the result and - regardless of whether it is positive or negative - how to protect your health and the health of others. He or she will review methods to prevent the spread of HIV.
- If the result is negative, the counselor may discuss retesting if, during the six months before the test, you engaged in any behaviors that might have infected you. Infection may be present but the body may not yet have produced enough antibodies for the test to detect. Since it takes time for the body to develop antibodies, you may need to be retested.
- If the test is positive, the counselor will tell you what this means. Any questions you have should be answered and the counselor will refer you for follow-up health care, support services, or further counseling. The counselor will also discuss telling sex partner(s) and/or drug-using partner(s).