Free HIV Tests In Houston: Your Right to Know Your Status
Many HIV-positive individuals do not become aware of their infection until years after first coming into contact with the virus. One in seven of the 1.2 million persons living with HIV in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are unaware that they are infected with HIV.
Though several early indicators point to the possibility of infection, an HIV test is the only method to determine your status.
To know more about getting the HIV test done and some of the ways to get the free HIV test, keep reading our blog. Additionally, if you’re in Houston and looking for a convenient location to get an HIV test, you can visit a local pharmacy in Houston. They often offer HIV testing services, and some may even provide free or low-cost testing options. This can be a discreet and accessible way to take care of your sexual health. Remember that early detection and regular testing are crucial in the fight against HIV.
When to opt for an HIV test?
HIV testing ought to be done on everyone at least once throughout their lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently advises that regardless of risk, everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested at least once. Technically, everybody who is sexually active should be tested.
It’s recommended that you get tested if you’d like to know your own HIV symptoms and signs if you know you’ve had condom-free sex and are at risk. That could occur once a year, once every six months, or once every three months. This is especially true for people like gay and bisexual males who are more likely to be exposed to HIV.
It is advised that you get tested for HIV every three months if you are at a higher risk, particularly if you have engaged in condom-free anal sex. Getting tested for HIV is a necessary aspect of living a healthy life and having a sexual life; it does not indicate that you have done anything wrong. We should all be testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) to empower ourselves and others.
How to get the free HIV test done?
There are a variety of locations in your region that may provide free HIV tests. Free testing is provided by hospitals, universities, municipal health offices, and even churches.
Here are some sites you should look out for:
- Utilize the CDC search function. Enter your ZIP code at gettested.cdc.gov. To locate a free HIV test center or inexpensive test in your area, click and then select the “Free HIV Test” option from the drop-down menu on the following page.
- Make contact with the AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation). In numerous sites around the United States and Puerto Rico, this nonprofit organization provides free HIV testing services.
- Give Planned Parenthood a call. HIV testing is available at many Planned Parenthood sites for free or at a reduced cost. To locate a health-free HIV test center nearby you, call 800-230-PLAN or visit plannedparenthood.org/health-center.
- Insurance: You can get free HIV test services if you are covered by Medicaid or insurance. For everyone between the ages of 15 and 65, insurance companies must pay for HIV testing without a charge. This also applies to younger or older people who may be more susceptible to HIV infection
You can even reach out to your healthcare professional, hospital, or drugstore in houston to get the test done or products for the same. However, it is not free of cost, you need to spend some dollars to get the test done.
Mail-in and fast tests are the two primary varieties of at-home HIV testing available.
- Mail-in tests: These are HIV tests that you can do at home, but they need a bodily fluid sample. Once in a lab, experts will examine the sample to see if it has any HIV antigens or antibodies.
- Rapid HIV tests: A quick self-test that looks for HIV antibodies in your saliva. To see results in 20 minutes, you swab the gums and then carefully follow the directions. Rapid self-tests can be purchased at many pharmacies. HIV tests that you do at home can be reliable if you follow the testing guidelines. Compared to a blood sample, the saliva sample used for these tests has fewer antibodies.
However, there’s a minor chance that quick testing won’t catch an early HIV infection. If you have been exposed to HIV and your fast HIV test comes back negative, it is advised that you retest three months later by professionals.
In conclusion, understanding when and how to get an HIV test is crucial for individual health and public safety. In this blog, we’ve emphasized the importance of regular testing, especially for those engaging in high-risk behaviors or if there has been potential exposure to the virus. Knowing HIV sumptoms in women or men not only empowers you to take control of your health but also plays a significant role in preventing the spread of the virus to others.
Remember, early detection is key. By getting tested at the right time, you can make informed decisions about your health, access appropriate medical care if needed, and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your partners.
If you are looking to get the rapid tests in Houston, then reach out to Scott Read Pharmacy. We are a leading community pharmacy in Houston having all the required testing products and medications for HIV.