Frequently Asked Questions about being tested at the Center
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV can progress to failure of the immune system which may allow life-threatening opportunistic infections to thrive. HIV is most frequently contracted through sexual contact. There is currently no cure for HIV, but there is appropriate medical care available that gives people the opportunity to live long, happy, healthy lives.
When can I get tested?
Wake County Human Services offers testing services at the LGBT Center every Monday and Thursday evening from 6pm – 8:00pm. If you are unable to come during this time, please contact WCHS at 919-250-4464 to coordinate another time.
How much does it cost?
WCHS offers FREE testing services.
Who should be tested for HIV?
What tests can I get?
WCHS offers tests for HIV (traditional blood draw), syphilis gonorrhea and Chlamydia to all interested individuals. We further offer screenings for hepatitis C based on risk factors.
How does it work?
A WCHS testing counselor will ask you to fill out some brief paperwork. The counselor will then provide you with pre-test counseling before beginning the process of collecting specimens for testing. HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis C are all tested through a blood draw. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing require a small urine sample for males and a self-collected sample for females.
What is the difference between a Rapid HIV test and a Traditional HIV test?
A Traditional HIV test looks to detect both HIV antibodies and HIV virus in the blood. This test is able to detect a reactive HIV result within two weeks of being tested. WCHS only provides a traditional HIV test. A rapid HIV test looks to detect HIV antibodies in the blood. This test operates with a 99.7% specificity rate at three months prior to being tested. Rapid test results are given within 20 minutes of test initiation. So, if you had a possible HIV exposure three months ago, a rapid test would provide you with an accurate result. If you had a possible HIV exposure 3 weeks ago, the blood draw would be required to give you the most accurate result.
How do I get my results?
Traditional HIV results can only be given to clients during post-test counseling when the client returns for their results. Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and hepatitis C results are typically available within five working days and can be given over the phone by one of WCHS’s counselors. Traditional HIV results take approximately 3 to 7 days to come back from the NC State Lab. Syphilis, 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…..
Wake County Human Services 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, WCHS 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.