HIV Rapid Testing
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms. Even if you don’t feel sick, getting early treatment for HIV is important: early treatment can help you live a longer, healthier life.
HIV testing at ACR Health is usually a two-step process. The first step is to test for antibodies in blood or saliva. ACR Health has upgraded its services to a new generation of rapid HIV testing that delivers preliminary results in ten minutes. The Uni-Gold™ Recombigen® HIV-1/2 test method uses a drop of blood from a finger stick. This rapid test is a reliable and convenient way for people to learn their HIV status in our offices or on our mobile units.
If the rapid test is positive, a second test called a Western blot is done to ensure that the first result was correct. To do this, ACR Health staff may collect an additional blood sample through a second finger prick. We then send the sample to a laboratory and will notify you when your results are available, approximately 2-3 days later.
Am I at risk for HIV?
HIV is spread through some of the body’s fluids, like blood, semen (cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV can be passed from one person to another by:
- Having unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a person who has HIV.
- Sharing syringes while injecting drugs with someone who has HIV.
- Engaging in other high-risk behaviors, like: encounters with multiple sexual partners; having sex with partners of an unknown HIV status; having sex with anonymous sex partners; having sex with someone who injects drugs; having sex while you are high or intoxicated; having sex if you currently have a sexually transmitted infection.
- Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV*
- Getting a blood transfusion that has HIV in it*
*Through standardized screening options for pregnant women, NYS has greatly reduced the transmission of HIV from mothers-to-infants. According to the CDC (March 2013), the risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV is extremely remote due to the rigorous testing of the U.S. blood supply.