Free HIV/AIDS Testing

SAYFSM provides free and confidential testing. Individuals are invited to pick the time and place to be tested. Results are available in 20 minutes. Staff provide pre- and post-counseling in English and some African languages. Call SAYFSM for an appointment.

What is HIV?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV harms the body’s immune system which is the body’s natural defense mechanism that protects our bodies from diseases and infections. You can live for years (5 to 10) without having symptoms or knowing you have HIV and can pass it on to others. After being infected with HIV for several years, your immune system is severely damaged and your infection progresses to AIDS.

What is AIDS?

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) occurs when HIV weakens a person’s immune system. It is the last stage of HIV infection. Only a doctor can diagnose AIDS.

Who is at Risk for Getting HIV?

HIV does not discriminate. It is not who you are, but what you do that determines whether you can become infected with HIV. Everybody is at risk if they don’t know the facts about HIV/AIDS transmission and take steps to prevent the spread of the disease.

How Does Someone Get HIV?

Most people become infected with HIV through unprotected sex, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Other ways of getting HIV are through injection drug use and blood contamination. HIV positive mothers can pass the virus to their babies through pregnancy or delivery, as well as through breast milk.

HIV cannot be spread by casual contact, such as hugging, shaking hands, or sharing food. HIV is not spread by coughs or sneezes, mosquito or insect bites, or animals/pets.

Is There a Cure for AIDS?

No, but treatment is available to help most people with HIV infection live healthy and longer lives, even though they can still pass HIV on to others if protection is not used or if they share needles.

How Can I Know if I Have HIV?

The only way to know is by getting tested. In order to benefit from treatments, knowing your HIV status early is crucial. You can know your status only by getting tested for HIV.