Prevention and Education-FAQ

WHAT DOES CONFIDENTIAL TESTING MEAN?

Confidential testing refers to HIV antibody testing services in which personal identifiers are known to persons providing the services, and positive results are reported to the Hawaii State Department of Health in accordance with state reporting requirements. To ensure confidentiality, completed HIV forms and results are always kept in a locked file.

All staff involved in HIV testing and counseling activities with access to testing results and counseling information are required to sign a confidentiality statement acknowledging the legal requirements under state and federal law not to disclose HIV/AIDS information. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIV AND AIDS?

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

H - Human: because this virus can only infect human beings.
I - Immuno-deficiency: because the effect of the virus is to create a deficiency, a failure to work properly, within the body's immune system.
V - Virus: because this organism is a virus, which means one of its characteristics is that it is incapable of reproducing by itself. It reproduces by taking over the machinery of the human cell.
A - Acquired: because it's a condition one must acquire or get infected with; not something transmitted through the genes
I - Immune: because it affects the body's immune system, the part of the body which usually works to fight off germs such as bacteria and viruses
D - Deficiency: because it makes the immune system deficient (makes it not work properly)
S - Syndrome: because someone with AIDS may experience a wide range of different diseases and opportunistic infections

HOW LONG AFTER A POSSIBLE EXPOSURE SHOULD I BE TESTED FOR HIV?

The time it takes for a person who has been infected with HIV to seroconvert (test positive) for HIV antibodies is commonly called the "Window Period".
Recent studies show that a test taken at least 12 weeks (3 months) after the last possible exposure to the virus provides highly accurate results. Based on those studies, many testing clinics in California and other places use a 3 month window period. Very, very rarely, a person could take six months to produce antibodies. MAF uses a 3-6 month window period. 

WHAT DO THE TEST RESULTS MEAN?

A positive result means:

A negative result means:

A negative result does NOT mean:

I'M INTERESTED IN GETTING ON PREP. HOW LONG AFTER TAKING IT WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE?

It takes approximately 7 days before PrEP becomes effective. Make sure that you take it every day for best results.

WHAT ARE WAYS TO STAY HIV NEGATIVE?

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