Outreach Testing is an individual level intervention which will ensure that persons at increased risk for HIV and HCV are properly screened and tested. Furthermore, those found to be infected shall be immediately linked into the existing system of care.
Outreach Testing services will be conducted in various venues where high-risk individuals can be found. Examples include, but are not limited to, jails, drug treatment facilities, drug recovery facilities, homeless shelters, mental health facilities, and community health centers. Offering HIV testing in these settings is an effective way to bring HIV testing to the community. Agencies use a Rapid Antibody Screening test usually with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid and results are ready in 30 minutes or less.
CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.
According to the CDC, the following behaviors increase your chances of getting HIV. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should be tested for HIV.
- Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?
- Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), like syphilis?
- Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?
- If you have had sex with someone whose history of sex partners and/or drug use is unknown to you or if you or your partner has had many sex partners, then you have more of a chance of being infected with HIV. Both you and your new partner should get tested for HIV, and learn the results, before having sex for the first time.
For women who plan to become pregnant, testing is even more important. If a woman is HIV+, medical care and certain drugs given during pregnancy can lower the chance of passing HIV to her baby. All women who are pregnant should be tested during each pregnancy.
Agency will ensure that persons testing positive for HIV receive their test results, prevention counseling, linkage to medical care, and other necessary HIV prevention services.
For more information, please call the HIV Prevention Program at 317-233-7032