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HIV

Signature Health offers free, confidential HIV screening to both current patients and non-patients.

Health

While your test is running your HIV test counselor will talk with you about your risk and help you come up with a plan to stay healthy. For additional information about HIV screening and treatment, call us.

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What is HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV can hurt your immune system and make you likely to get other infections.


How do people get HIV?

In the United States, HIV is usually spread by:

  • Having anal or vaginal sex without a condom
  • Sharing needles or syringes, rinse water, or other equipment (works) used to prepare drugs for injection. HIV can live in a used needle for up to 42 days.

For more information about how HIV is transmitted, visit https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html.

Who should get tested for HIV? 

If you answer “yes” to any of the below, you should get tested. Know your status.

  • Have you ever injected drugs and shared needles or works (i.e.: water or cotton) with others?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Are you a man who has sex with men?
  • Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or sought treatment for a sexually transmitted disease/infection?
  • Have you had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
  • Have you had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?

Signs and Symptoms of HIV

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your status is the most important thing you can do. At Signature Health, we offer free, confidential HIV screening every day of the week. For more details, visit www.signaturefreetest.org.

Some people may have a flu-like illness within two to four weeks after contracting HIV. Other individuals may not feel sick during this stage.

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Mouth ulcers

What you need to know

Symptoms may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Most people will not have symptoms, however, so testing is important.

If you have HIV, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. Treatment can keep you healthy for life and prevent the spread of HIV.

If you have symptoms or think you may have been exposed to HIV, see your health care provider and let them know. You may also stop by Signature Health for screening.

HIV Prevention

There are tools available to prevent HIV.

According to the CDC, you can use strategies such as; abstinence (not having sex), limiting your number of sexual partners, never sharing needles, and using condoms the right way every time you have sex.

You may also use HIV prevention medicines.

These medicines include pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Signature Health offers both of these prevention medications.

To learn more about each, visit

Doctor sitting with patient discussing healthcare options

HIV Screening and Treatment

You do not need an appointment for an HIV screening. Simply let the front desk know you would like a “free screening” and you’ll be helped accordingly.

For our walk-in screening schedule, visit www.signaturefreetest.org.

If your test comes back positive, Signature Health can provide follow-up care and continued treatment for you. We’ll help you manage HIV and live a healthy life. If your test comes back negative, we can provide additional options and resources to keep you negative.

Need help now?

Stop by one of our walk-in clinics. If this is a life-threatening emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911. For non-emergency situations (domestic violence, food/shelter, etc.), dial 211 to speak to a live operator.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at: 1-800-273-8255.

Both current patients and non-patients may receive HIV screening at Signature Health.

HIV screening is free, confidential, and fast. The test is a quick finger stick and the entire process takes 30 minutes or less. While your test is running your HIV test counselor will talk with you about your risk and help you come up with a plan to stay healthy.