Positive? Negative? Not sure?
Take the Test. Take Control.
Free HIV Testing and Health Fair
Friday, June 27, 2014 from 11:00 am—2:00 pm
Visit the FREE health fair booths in the Library Rotunda for:
- Confidential HIV tests
- STD clinic nurses & counseling
- Resources for safer sex, mental health, drug abuse, and more
- Personal health information from community experts
- Lots of free goodies!
Sponsored by the Library’s Health Information Neighborhood, along with Positive Connections, Shawnee Regional Prevention and Recovery Services (PARS) and the Shawnee County Health Agency.
Find more books about HIV and AIDS in the Health Information Neighborhood at call number 616.9792.
HIV Tests in Topeka/Shawnee County
To learn more about HIV Testing, I interviewed Beth Hamilton from Positive Connections, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing HIV and helping those already living with it. Positive Connections is located on the top floor of the Marian Clinic building, just across the street from the library.
National HIV testing day will celebrate its 9th anniversary this year during its annual observance to promote HIV awareness. Why is this important for people to take advantage of this free program?
A FIFTH of people infected with HIV don’t even know they have it. The only way to be sure of your HIV status is to get tested.
If I was tested last year, should I be tested again this year?
The CDC recommends HIV testing as part of regular check-ups for everyone who is sexually active. Sadly, most healthcare providers do not act on this recommendation. The only way to get an HIV test in most cases is to ask for one, which can feel embarrassing, especially with a healthcare provider that you know. Most healthcare providers can do an HIV test if it is requested, but these tests cost money and involve needles, blood draws, and lab work. Results often take a few days to be reported.
Can I receive free testing on any other day besides National HIV testing day?
HIV testing is always completely free and confidential at Positive Connections, located at 1001 SW Garfield Ave. Suite 4, 66604. That’s the top floor of the Marian Clinic building, just across the street from the library. We recommend making an appointment ahead of time by calling 785-232-3100, but we can usually take walk-ins with a short wait. Testing is available Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
What should I expect if I come in for a test?
We use the Clearview Rapid HIV test, an extremely accurate HIV antibody test that shows positive or negative results in about 20 minutes without any lab work. During the 20 minute development time, a Positive Connections staff member conducts a short counseling session to learn more about the person being tested, teach the client about HIV transmission, and develop a plan to help reduce the client’s risk of HIV in the future. The test is not painful, and only requires a quick finger prick. Clients leave with proof of their HIV status within half an hour of their test.
We also provide free “safe sex” materials to help anyone reduce their risk of contracting or transmitting HIV and other STDs, no questions asked. We encourage Topekans to feel free to walk in any time for free condoms, personal lubricant, or dental dams, as well as information about how they work to reduce risk.
STI/STD Tests in Topeka/Shawnee County
Wait, what’s the difference between STDs and STIs?
Whether people talk about STIs or STDs, they’re usually talking about the same thing—Sexually Transmitted Infections or Sexually Transmitted Diseases. In the medical world, a condition only gets to be called a disease if it has symptoms—and a lot of sexually transmitted infections don’t. We like the STI abbreviation, so you know we’re talking about infections with AND without symptoms you can see or feel. (Even if an STI isn’t showing symptoms, it can still do damage to your body and it can still be transmitted to others!)
Like HIV testing, testing for STIs is usually available through your primary healthcare provider upon request, but prices vary.
Where can I get tested in Topeka for other STIs?
Inexpensive testing, treatment, and counseling for other STIs can be found at the Shawnee County Health Agency’s Central Park Clinic at 1534 SW Clay St., 66604. The Clinic can test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B and C, genital herpes, and syphilis, as well as many vaginal infections. STI testing is available by appointment only—call 785-291-2488 for an appointment, information about STIs and STI services provided, or for pricing information or learn more at their website.