HIV Counseling & Testing
Henry J. Austin Health Center is pleased to provide free anonymous and / or confidential HIV testing to any person who requests it. Testing takes approximately 15-20 minutes, which includes counseling, providing HIV / AIDS information, and answering any questions an individual may have. Confidential testing means identifying information is taken and released by client’s written authorization or court order. Anonymous testing, available only at our Warren Street location, means no identifying information is ever taken.
Types of Tests
An HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) antibody test shows the presence of HIV, an infection that may develop into AIDS over a number of years. Infection is usually detectable within 3-6 months of potential exposure. HIV antibody testing is done using blood, usually from a Fingerstick.
Rapid Test – results in about 15 minutes
The newest technology is the “Rapid” Test. Using a blood drop taken from a fingertip, Rapid tests provide an HIV test result in as little as 15 minutes. Individuals receive results from this test at the same visit. Rapid testing is very acurate. However, additional testing is required to confirm a preliminary positive result.
A traditional blood test can also be used. The blood specimen is sent to the state lab where it is processed. Results are returned to the health center, usually within 10 working days, and individuals must return in person to the health center to receive the results, regardless if they are positive or negative.
The HIV staff consists of the Program Coordinator, HIV Counselors, HIV Bilingual Counselors, and the HIV Receptionist. The entire staff is provided with training by the New Jersey State Department of Health. The Program Coordinator offers education, center outreach, and information regarding counseling and testing at local community centers and community-based organizations. Counselors provide the counseling and testing, patient outreach, risk reduction, and up-to-date information regarding HIV/AIDS. The Receptionist maintains the HIV warm line and provides up-to-date information to all callers and visitors.
For up-to-date information regarding the HIV virus, current research, and new scientific developments, please refer to www.cdc.gov/hiv/