Kwik Prick - Rapid HIV Test at Trade
Free Rapid HIV Testing is being offered by Trade Sexual Health at a Monday drop-in session, available for the Leicester LGB&T community.
The test is performed at the Trade office, with their friendly certified staff performing the test on site. The whole process should take no more than half an hour to complete.
The test is free and confidential. The HIV test uses a 'finger prick' blood sample, with results given within one minute and is 99.9% accurate at detecting any HIV exposure that may have occurred more than 12 weeks ago.
With HIV still increasing at the fastest rate within the LGB&T community, Trade are launching this drop-in session (Monday's only), to increase people's awareness of their HIV status. Earlier diagnosis is not only key to getting effective treatment, but also allows you to take control of your own sexual health and well-being.
Each weekly session is held between 12pm - 6pm every Monday at Trade, 15 Wellington Street, Leicester. So come and get your test.
Clinic day: Monday
Clinic times: 12pm - 6pm
Location: Trade, 15 Wellington Street, Leicester, LE1 6HH
Frequently asked questions
about the Rapid HIV test
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV infects and gradually destroys an infected person's immune system. This means your body is less able to fight off normal infections and germs. If you have HIV and it is not diagnosed and treated it can be fatal.
How is HIV passed on?
The HIV virus is passed on from getting any of the following body fluids from a person who has HIV into your bloodstream: semen, blood, pre-cum, breast milk, menstrual blood and vaginal fluids.
The most common ways are for these body fluids to get into your bloodstream are:
• Having anal or vaginal sex without a condom.
• Sharing a needle with someone,
for example when sharing drugs.
How is HIV not passed on?
There is no risk of HIV being passed on from normal social contact with someone who is HIV positive. This includes touching a person with HIV, kissing, sharing towels or clothes, sharing cups, plates or glasses with someone with HIV.
What is an HIV test?
You can find out if you become infected with HIV by having a blood test done. Your body produces antibodies to HIV in an attempt to fight the virus.
When should I have an HIV test?
It normally takes 12 weeks (3 months) for the antibodies to HIV to show up in the blood. So you need to wait for 12 weeks from when you might have been exposed to HIV for an antibody to give you an accurate result. This is called the window period. If you are tested during this window period and have a negative result you should also be tested after the 12 weeks have passed to be totally sure of your result. If you are worried about an incident in the past few days or weeks where you feel you may have been exposed to HIV, you should speak to the worker or volunteer present at the testing site who can refer you to the local GUM clinic which can carry out tests to identify HIV at this early stage.
What is PEP?
If you are worried about an incident of HIV exposure within the last 72 hours - speak to the Rapid Testing Worker/Volunteer, who may refer you to the GU clinic for enquiries about PEP treatment, which can stop HIV entering the bloodstream after exposure.
How will I be tested for HIV?
It is a test which involves taking a drop of blood from your finger with a result available within one minute.
What do the results mean?
This test is a SCREENING TEST: it is possible that if the result is reactive you may still not be infected with HIV. If the test is reactive we will arrange for you to be seen in the department of Genito Urinary Medicine. Where a blood sample will be taken and sent to the laboratory for HIV testing. You will be asked to return for an appointment at GUM clinic a few days later to get the result.
If your rapid HIV test is negative, and you have not been at risk of HIV infection in the previous 3 months, then it is unlikely you are infected with HIV. However, as with all tests for HIV antibodies, if you have been very recently infected, your antibody levels will be low and the test may be negative. If you have recently been at risk of HIV infection you should re-test once the window period is over (approximately 3 months since possible infection). However this does not mean you can't be infected in the future.
Who Do We Offer the Rapid HIV Test To?
We offer the test to people who have been at higher risk of HIV infection. This includes:
• Men who have sex with men with high risk activity (and partners of)
• Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender men and women (and partners of)
• Injecting drug users who have shared equipment (and partners of)
• People from endemic areas (African nations, Caribbean) or those who have had unprotected sex with partners from endemic areas
• People who have had unprotected sex with known HIV infected individual
• Sex workers who engage in high risk sexual activity
• Pre PEP in those with previous high risk exposure
Why Don't We Offer The Rapid HIV Test To Everyone?
Because studies have shown that if you are at low risk of HIV infection the test is much more likely to give a false reactive result.
Things to think about before having an HIV test?
Only you can decide if having an HIV test is right for you. You should not be pressurised into having a test by other people. Below are some reasons to have and not have an HIV test, everyone is different and you may have your own reasons.
Reasons not to test:
• A positive result can mean a lot of stress and impact on your day to day life.
• People may treat you differently if they know you are HIV positive.
• You may be restricted on travelling and working abroad.
• A positive result can make it more difficult to get a mortgage and life insurance.
• If you have a negative result following risky behaviour which could have led to becoming HIV positive, you may see no reason to change your behaviour to lower the risk.
• You may not be in a place to deal with a positive result emotionally.
Reasons to test:
• You will know your HIV status. You won't be worried about what you think your HIV status is.
• A negative result may give you peace of mind.
• A positive result will enable you to access medication, monitoring and specialist support, which can greatly improve your long-term health.
• If you are HIV positive the sooner you are diagnosed the more likely you are to get the maximum benefit from HIV treatment.
• You will be able to make decisions about your future.
• To help you plan the type of sex you want with your partner(s). By always having protected sex you will be very unlikely to pass HIV on to someone else.
What do I need to think about after having a negative test result?
• Getting a negative result doesn't mean you are immune to HIV. You might want to think about times you have been uncomfortable with the risks you have taken and how you might deal with these in the future.
• The results tell you what your HIV status was 12 weeks ago if you have had unprotected sex or shared injecting equipment in the last 12 weeks you may want to take another test within the next three to six months.
• This is a result for you and does not tell you anybody else's status; don't assume that your partner has the same status.
What do I need to think about after having a positive/reactive test result?
• This is a result for you and does not tell you anybody else's status, don't assume that your partner has the same status.
• A positive result could mean that you face discrimination from some people if they know your status.
• If you are HIV positive you can pass HIV onto other people through unprotected sex, sharing injecting equipment.
• You may want to make changes in your life. Remember that you may be in shock and might not be thinking very clearly; wait till things settle down until you make major decisions.
• Similarly, you might want to tell lots of people about being HIV positive. It's important you have someone you can talk to, but at this stage, try to talk to people you really trust. You can always tell people later, but you can never untell them.
Will the Rapid HIV test check for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's)?
This test will only check for HIV. It is not a full sexual health screen. If you would like a full sexual health check you will need to visit the GUM clinic, or if you identify as a gay, bisexual man or man who has sex with men, you can visit the Trade GU walk-in clinic at Celts Sauna on Tuesdays from 3pm - 6.30pm
I have a question or concern that has not been answered in these FAQ's?
Please contact Trade on 0116 254 1747 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.