What is HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection is a serious medical condition that can lead to the AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV attacks the immune system and decreases the body’s ability to fight infection.
For more information about HIV please visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website (www.cdc.gov).
What body fluids can HIV be in? (How is HIV spread?)
A person could become infected with the HIV virus if they came in contact with infected fluids from another person. The fluids that pass the HIV virus are semen, vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk. People can NOT get HIV from hugging, kissing, sharing drinking glasses, and shaking hands with someone who has HIV.
Who should get tested for HIV?
- Anyone who has had sex without a condom
- Anyone who has shared needles or "works" to inject drugs
- Anyone who has had a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) such as Chlamydia, Syphilis, or Herpes
- All pregnant women
How do I get tested for HIV?
Testing for HIV is done by a blood draw or finger stick.
What does the test look for?
The test is looking for HIV antibodies which the body makes when it is trying to fight an HIV infection. A person who has been exposed to HIV will most likely develop antibodies within three months of becoming infected.
How long does it take to get my HIV test results?
Rapid HIV testing will give you the result within 20 minutes. Results for conventional HIV testing (blood draw) can take 7 to 10 days.
Where can I get tested for HIV?
Deschutes County Health Services offers three locations for HIV testing:
- Deschutes County Health Services Main Clinic: 2577 NE Courtney Drive, Bend, 97701, (541) 322-7499.
- Becky Johnson Center: 412 SW 8th Street, Redmond 97756, (541) 617-4775.
All tests are confidential. Anonymous testing is available upon request.
All services provided at Deschutes County Health are based on a sliding scale dependent on income.
How can I protect myself?
Consistent and correct condom use every time you have sex is an effective way to prevent becoming infected or spreading HIV.
For persons who inject drugs, using clean needles and drug equipment for each injection greatly reduces the chances of becoming infected with or spreading HIV or Viral Hepatitis. Confidential needle exchange services are available at Deschutes County Health. Please refer to the Needle Exchange Program or call (541) 408-1209 for more information.
Resources for people living with HIV/AIDS
Case management services are available for persons living with HIV/AIDS. For more information call (541) 322-7402 (confidential line).
Positive Self Management Program (also known as Living Well with HIV) is a seven week course led by person living with HIV and a HIV Health Educator. For more information on class times and locations please call (541) 322-7430 or visit the Living Well Central Oregon website (www.livingwellco.org).
For more information for people living with HIV, visit the POZ website (www.poz.com).
Questions about HIV
If you have questions or concerns regarding HIV, please call a HIV Health Educator at (541) 322-7425.