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  • Writer's pictureAlana, RN

HIV/AIDS Awareness

We want to STOP the HIV stigma. We also want to stop the fear. By being aware and educated, you can prevent exposure to HIV for yourself or others.

How is HIV transmitted?

Most people get HIV through anal or vaginal sex, sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment. HIV can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy, birthing, or breastfeeding.

When do I get tested?

If you are a sexually active person between the ages of 13 and 64, the CDC recommends getting tested at least once. You should get tested if:

  • You are a man who has sex with another man.

  • You have had oral or anal sex with someone you know who has HIV.

  • You have had more than one partner since your last HIV test.

  • You share needles or other injection paraphernalia.

  • You have exchanged drugs or money for sex.

  • You have been diagnosed with another STD (this dramatically increases your chances of becoming infected with HIV).

  • You have had sex with someone whose sexual history you do not know.

Where can I get tested?

Here at the Hope Clinic, we do free STD testing that includes HIV screening. It requires a simple blood draw and returning for your results appointment a week later. If your results return positive, we will refer you to the right place to begin your treatment.

What if I know I have been exposed but haven’t been tested yet?

You can start treatment right away! That is what the CDC recommends that you do. It is called PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis). You should use PEP only in emergencies, and you must start within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV.

What does a negative result mean?

If you were tested after a potential exposure and the result is negative, you need to be tested again after the window period is over for the test that you took. If you test again after the window period, have no possible HIV exposure, and the result is negative, you do not have HIV.

What if my results come back positive?

We will refer you to a physician who can immediately prescribe medication. Taking your medication as prescribed and keeping an undetectable viral load are the best things you can do to stay healthy. Doing so also prevents you from sexually transmitting HIV to your HIV-negative partner. While there is no cure for HIV, you can control it with proper medication. HIV medication does not prevent the transmission of other STDs.

Are you looking to get tested? Make an appointment today!

Source: (2022, November 4). HIV Testing Essentials. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from


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