Get Tested to Stop the Spread of HIV
(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) One-quarter of people living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the United States are unaware of their HIV infection. Furthermore, studies show that people are more likely to seek care for themselves and protect others from becoming infected after becoming aware of their HIV-positive status. Keeping these factors in mind, HIV prevention requires a collective community response that matches the severity of the epidemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a series of recommendations to help ensure that all persons know their HIV status in an effort to help stop the spread of HIV. The CDC recommends that all individuals ages 13-64 know their HIV status and have one HIV screening test as part of routine clinical care. Repeat testing is recommended at least annually for those who engage in risky behaviors such as having multiple sex partners, being diagnosed with other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sharing needles for any reason, and having unprotected sex with a partner who is not aware of his or her HIV status.
For individuals who do not have access to routine medical care, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (SBCDPH) offers HIV antibody testing services through the AIDS Program and Clinic Operations. The AIDS Program offers Rapid HIV antibody test services Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 799 East Rialto Avenue in the City of San Bernardino. This particular test method delivers HIV results in 30 minutes or less, using a single drop of blood from a finger stick or by means of an oral swab. It was approved for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration in November 2002. The Rapid HIV antibody test has been proven to be cost-effective and accurate method for screening. As with all screening tests for HIV, positive test results require confirmatory testing, and specific procedures and quality assurance measures are followed to ensure that all clients testing for HIV receive accurate results and effective counseling and referral services.
The SBCDPH Clinic Operations provide standard IV antibody tests in which a blood sample is drawn by a healthcare provider and submitted to the Public Health Lab for analysis. Results are available in two weeks through SBCDPH Clinic Operations.
For more information about HIV testing services, call the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health AIDS Program at (800) 255-6560 or Clinic Operations at (800) 722-4777 or visit the website at http://www.KnowSBC.com .