HIV HOME TESTING NOW AVAILABLE
As of October 2012 you can now pick up a take home HIV test kit. The kit is sold off the shelf at most pharmacies. It can generally be found among the drug testing kits or behind the pharmacy counter (you may have to aski for it.) You will get a test result in approximately 20 minutes. The retail price is approximately $40.
If you choose to test at home, please get linked into care if you test HIV Positive (HIV+), Call MAACA at 850/942-6222 for information on testing and linkage to care. Our Peer Navigators will help you through the process of receiving care to protect your health and the health of those you love.
And remember, if you were recently infected with HIV, you may still test negative even though you have the virus in your body. This is called the window period. It generally takes 3 weeks to 3 months for an HIV test to show a positive result after infection. The window period can sometimes be shorter or longer. The HIV test detects antibodies your body produces after infection, not the actual virus. Your body needs time to produce antibodies in sufficient quantity to be detected.
There are now 4th generation tests which can detect the virus in your body and determine if you are infected with HIV as early as 10 days after exposure. These tests are not available in a take home test. Click on General AIDS Information in the right hand column to find a sight that offers 4th generation testing. 4th generation testing can detect the presence of the virus (not the antibodies your body produces) and can tell you if you are infected as soon as 10 days after exposure
If you test negative (HIV-) and need more information about preventing HIV and access to condoms, please call MAACA at 850/942-6222.
Treatment As Prevention
MAACA, Inc. and the MAACA Peer Navigator Program took part in the 2012 United Stated Conference on AIDS, Prevention as Treatment Team (Treatment Education, Adherence and Mobilization.) Treatment as Prevention was the main focus of the Conference in 2012. The TEAM effort is sponsored by the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC.)
What is Treatment as Prevention?
Treatment as Prevention or TasP is an effort to use effective treatment on HIV+ individuals based on the results of various medical studies to reduce new HIV infections. Treatment as Prevention also calls for a concerted effort in the HIV/AIDS community, especially among those infected with HIV and their partners, to increase Treatment, Education, Adherence and Mobilization efforts.
Why is TasP Important?
There have been several studies used to determine outcomes of effective treatment of HIV+ individuals on the prevalence of new HIV infections.
Click HERE to be connected to the AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention for extensive information on Treatment as Prevention.
What is HPTN-052
One study in particular, HPTN-052, showed that starting treatment of HIV infected individuals early and maintaining adherence can reduce the rate of new transmissions by as much as 96%. The study was conducted among heterosexual couples in which one was HIV+ and the other HIV-. Please click HERE to go directly to the HIV Prevention Trials Network website to read more about HPTN-052.
Click HERE to read a May 12, 2011 news release from HPTN on the results of the study
Other aspects of Prevention are PEP, PrEP Microbicides, male circumcision and vaccines.
PEP is Post Exposure Prophylaxis in which an individual who suspects he or she may have been recently been exposed to HIV can take anti-retroviral drugs and possibly prevent seroconversion (becoming HIV+). You must seek medical help as soon as possible after a possible exposure. PEP beyond 72 hours after exposure may not be effective. Talk to your doctor.
PrEP is Pre-exposure prophylaxis in which an HIV negative individual takes anti-retroviral medications before exposure to HIV in order to possibly prevent seroconversion.
Note: PrEP is now approved (as of July 2012) by the FDA for certain high risk groups. Click here for a fact sheet regarding PrEP from our friends at AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention.
Click hereto be connected to AVAC's website for additional information on PrEP.
Microbicides are gels or lotions that can be applied to possibly prevent HIV from entering the body. There are currently no FDA approved drugs in these forms. Click HEREto be connected to AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention for extensive information
The National Minority AIDS Council has a presentation that discusses HTPN-052 as well as PEP, Prep and Microbicides. Please view the presentation by clicking HERE.
For information on how male circumcision can help prevent HIV infection please click HERE to be connected to AVAC.
Below you can view a table which shows the efficacy of many different approaches to HIV prevention.
Contact us at the MAACA offices
850/942-6222, or firstname.lastname@example.org