HIV Testing: What happens when you get tested for HIV at the Health Department or through one of HIV Outreach's community testing sites?
One of our HIV counselors will take a few moments to fill out paperwork with you that gives us permission to do the HIV test. Because we are a confidential clinic we do require information such as your name and address, but we do not give this information to others. After the paperwork is complete, the HIV counselor will talk with you about HIV, how it is and is not contracted (gotten) and about any ways you have been at risk for HIV infection. They will then draw blood from your arm to send to the lab for testing.
If you are tested in the clinic: You will come back to the clinic in two weeks to receive your test results in person.
The counselor will discuss with you what your results mean, whether they are positive or negative. If your results are negative, the counselor will:
explain that the window period from the time of infection until a person shows as HIV positive can be anywhere from one week to six months;
And that if you have had unprotected sex or shared needles in the last six months, you will need to be retested to ensure you are truly HIV negative.
If you are tested at one of HIV Outreach’s field sites: You will be given the option of calling us in two weeks to get your results or coming in to the clinic in person. If you choose the option of calling, we will discuss with you how we maintain your confidentiality and what your responsibility is for keeping your information to receive results confidential. When you call we will discuss your results with you and what those results mean, as well as the window period for HIV.