HIV testing can be both stressful and frightening. We hope to make your test experience as easy as possible. We present this information to answer some common
questions and concerns.
We are a regional HIV testing center. It is NOT NECESSARY to be a resident of Boone County.
should I be tested?
- Relief and knowledge - Should your
test show no sign of HIV infection, you will be relieved
and will have had an opportunity to learn how to stay
HIV free. If the test is positive, you can act on
that knowledge to protect your health by taking advantage
of new effective therapies, and by preventing the
spread of HIV to others.
- Women: If you are
pregnant and HIV positive you may be able to prevent
the infection of your baby by taking special medication
during your pregnancy.
- Risks for HIV include unprotected sexual
relations (without a condom); and use of shared syringes
(needles or "works") for injecting drugs or shared
equipment for tattooing and piercing.
- If you feel
you may be at risk for HIV infection, get the test.
does the testing?
- both testing and counseling are conducted
by professionals with specific training to perform
- they will be able to answer any questions
you have, or refer you to those who can provide further
kind of test is it?
- A small amount of blood is drawn, and sent
to the State Public Health Laboratory, where it is
tested for antibodies to HIV.
- Positive tests are double
checked and then tested again using a different type
of test, to assure accuracy.
- It takes about eight
days to receive results, which are provided in person,
- Another oral test method is available which is just as
accurate but requires about twelve days to receive
- We now have two fast result
tests available: OraQuick, and Clearview HIV Stat-Pak. These produce an
HIV test result in 20 minutes. They can not be done anonymously.
soon can I be tested and know that it will find an
infection, if there is one?
- As it may take 3-12 weeks for HIV antibodies to
be detectable in the blood, a test done three months
after the last risk activity is considered highly
accurate, detecting up to 95% of positive cases.
be sure, a test done six months after the risk
may be necessary.
the “Quick” test?
- The OraQuick finger stick test can provide accurate
negative test results, and preliminary positive results
in only 20 minutes. The Clearview Stat-Pak test provides results in only 15 minutes. Both fast result tests require a confirming blood test for positive results.
- See: Other HIV test methods
people know that I'm having an HIV test if I go to
the Health Department?
- Absolutely not . . . the Health Department runs
a wide range of clinics and health activities of all
- No one else can know the reason you are here.
- HIV testing appointments are made using first names
is a "confidential" test?
- As with any medical test, name and address
are necessary and a form of ID is requested.
- The blood
sample is identified by number only, when sent to
the State Laboratory.
- Only positive test result
information is sent to the Bureau of STD/HIV Prevention,
Missouri Dept. of Health.
- Statistical data is used
to predict infection trends and provide justification
for HIV prevention and care programs.
companies, employers and other government agencies DO NOT have access to testing and counseling
information and results.
What about "anonymous" tests?
- Anonymous testing does not require the disclosure
of one's name and locating information.
anonymous appointment may be made using a fictitious
first name and results are given using the unique
HIV test number provided at the time of testing.
and OraQuick Advance can not be performed anonymously.
- Anonymous testing can also not be performed in outreach
if I lose my test number?
- While it is best to retain your number card,
you may receive your results using a picture ID which
includes your birth date.
- Those testing anonymously
can not receive the result without the test number
test copies available?
- Copies of HIV and STD test results to be
provided directly to those tested also with a release
signed and positive ID.
- Copies of confidential test
results may be mailed to physicians on the written
request of the person tested.
- This request must be
written at the Health Department, only by the person
tested and only with that person positively identified.
there a cost?
- No. . . there is no charge for HIV testing, provided by the Columbia/ Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.
if the test is positive for HIV...what happens then?
- The Health Department counselor will inform you of
the result and help you to cope with this news.
will be assured privacy and support to receive the
result and counseled on the accuracy, medical and
legal significance of an HIV diagnosis.
- As there is
now highly effective treatment for HIV, much of the
counseling is usually focused on helping the positive
person take the next necessary steps to receive follow
up medical care and social support for treatment and
healthy living with HIV. Referrals to Care Coordination
Services, RAIN and other supportive services are
about other STDs?
- A syphilis test can be done at the time of blood
testing for HIV.
- Also, women who are pregnant may
have a Hepatitis B test.
- Anyone with a particular
risk for Hepatitis C such as having a history of IV
drug use, or having received a transfusion before
1994, can have a Hepatitis C screening test done.
- Other STD tests and treatments are available at this
Health Department, without appointment, during our
low cost STD clinic every Tuesday evening between 5:00
and 7:00 PM.
To schedule a test, please contact us.
To learn more about HIV, please visit our external website directory.