Most urban cities have several HIV/AIDS testing centers. In areas that have a higher percentage of HIV-positive people ("hot zones") you may be able to find a mobile HIV testing van. HIV tests are quick and painless (usually performed by taking a swab of saliva from your mouth with a q-tip), with your results returned to you in about 20 to 30 minutes.
There are too many HIV test centers to list on this page, but if you don't know where to find an HIV/AIDS testing facility in your area, you can call 1-800-367-AIDS to find a test site in your area. If you would rather find a site using the Internet, just Google it.
1) In the Google search box type "HIV test centers near Oakland, CA" (or whatever your location is).
2) Click on the result containing the map (usually at the top or middle of the page)
3) Select a location from the list on the left, or click a bubble on the map for details about a location.
Your HIV test can be either anonymous or confidential. An anonymous test does not require you to provide your name or any identification. A confidential test does require you to provide identification and fill out a consent form. If you take a confidential test and you are found to be HIV positive you will be registered with the Public Health Department for statistical purposes. In either test scenario your name and information are kept private and are collected primarily for statistical evaluation and documentation.
California is one of 33 states that criminalizes HIV transmission with 5 complex statutes that add time or charges to HIV positive individuals who engage in sex work, who donate blood or commit any sexual offense.
African Americans accounted for over 50% of all new HIV cases in 2008. Among youth, 70% of new HIV cases are African American (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010).
HIV Diagnosis in 2008 By Race/Ethnicity
Chart provided by Avert.org
There are many locations that provide a free HIV test. Many mobile testing vans actually offer incentives (gift cards, free condoms, etc.) to entice you to get tested. You do not have to pay to get your HIV test.
If your HIV test returns a positive there are many resources out there to support you and your tester will be able to direct you to them to include on-site counseling for dealing with the stress and/or shock of a positive result.
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