HIV & STI Testing FAQs
WHO SHOULD BE TESTED FOR HIV?
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
All tests are administered FREE of charge for all clients.
DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT?
NO - we gladly accept walk-ins and offer testing at many festivals and event throughout the region. However, we know your time is valuable. So, if you would like to make an appointment, call us at 919-834-2437.
WHAT WE TEST FOR:
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus): Rapid HIV Testing and Traditional HIV Testing
WHAT IS THE PROCESS:
A trained Prevention Specialist will ask you to fill out some brief paperwork and provide you with pre-test counseling before beginning the process of collecting specimens for testing. The specialist will then take the necessary sample -- Traditional HIV testing, Syphilis, and Hepatitis C are all tested through a blood draw. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing require a small urine sample. A rapid HIV test can be administered with a simple prick of your finger.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RAPID HIV TEST AND A TRADITIONAL HIV TEST?
Both rapid and traditional HIV tests detect HIV antibodies in the blood. With a traditional test, blood is drawn and sent to a lab for detailed analysis. Therefore, traditional tests are able to detect smaller amounts of the antibodies and are 99% accurate as soon as two weeks after exposure to the virus.
Even with a high level of accuracy when a small amount of the antibodies are detected, a confirmation test needs to be done three months after exposure, when the antibody levels are high enough to eliminate the possibility of a false positive result.
Whereas a rapid test uses a smaller blood sample (from a finger prick) and less-sophisticated, onsite antibody detection techniques. This means a larger amount of antibodies need to be present to give a + result. The rapid test is only 99% accurate if conducted three months or longer after exposure.
HOW DO I GET MY RESULTS?
Rapid HIV results are given on location no more than 20 minutes after the test is initiated. All other tests take approximately two weeks to come back from the NC State Lab. Syphilis, Hepatitis C, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia results can be given over the phone, but for reasons of confidentiality, HIV results must be given in person. All results are only given to the individual tested unless special accommodations have been made.
BUT I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO KNOW I’M GETTING TESTED….
The Alliance offers confidential testing. We do not share your information with anyone unless there is a positive test result. In the event of a positive result, the Alliance is required by law to report the information to the NC Department of Public Health in order to ensure individuals are properly linked to care.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR SOMETHING?
The Alliance Prevention Education Team is committed to ensuring all individuals testing positive for any STI are appropriately and expeditiously linked to care. We provide referrals to area health departments, the NC State Department of Public Health, Bridge Counseling services, Medical Case Management, and various psychosocial supports.