HIV testing is available at Links by appointment. Appointments are generally available on Wednesday afternoons but other times may be arranged as needed. Testing should be done no earlier than three months after potential exposure to HIV. Test results are available in about 20 minutes and will be given at the time of your appointment. The cost is $20.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a condition caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that attacks the immune system and weakens its ability to fight off infections. HIV may have no symptoms until a person has been infected for a number of years. Only those who have a T-cell count below 200 (compared with about 1,000 T-cells in a healthy person), and become ill with serious life-threatening infections are diagnosed with AIDS.
HIV is not transmitted by casual contact such as hugging or shaking hands. HIV is most concentrated in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. If any of these fluids are infected and enter another person's body, that person is at risk of becoming infected. Most young people with HIV get the virus from having vaginal or anal sex without using a latex condom. It is also possible for the virus to enter the body through the mouth during oral sex or through cuts in the skin. People who share needles or syringes for injecting drugs (including steroids) are particularly at risk, because shared needles can pass blood from person to person.
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. However, there are treatments available that can help most people who are infected with HIV to live longer. Long-term treatment is expensive, may not work for everyone, and can have unpleasant side effects.