HIV & Hepatitis C Testing
HIV & Hepatitis C testing is free and confidential. Both tests involve a simple fingerstick that is quick and relatively painless. Testing sessions are about 30 minutes with same day results.
If you are infected with HIV or Hepatitis C, your body produces antibodies that can be detected by the rapid tests. You will receive either a non-reactive or reactive test result. A non–reactive test result means that no antibodies have been detected. A reactive means there were antibodies detected.
It is important to know that it can take up to three months after you have been exposed to HIV or Hepatitis C for your body to produce enough antibodies to be detected by the test.
If your result is non–reactive, but you’ve had a risk for HIV or Hepatitis C in the past three months, it’s recommend that you return for another HIV or Hepatitis C test three months following your most recent risk.
A reactive test result means the test detected HIV or Hepatitis C antibodies. All reactive tests must be confirmed with a blood draw that is sent to a medical laboratory. Rural AIDS Action Network does not do confirmatory testing but your testing counselor will help you find a clinic in your area that does.
If you are interested in getting an HIV or Hepatitis C test done, please call 1-800-966-9735. You will then be directed to a RAAN office in your area that can conduct the testing. RAAN’s offices in St. Cloud, Moorhead, Duluth, and Mankato Office offer both HIV and Hepatitis C rapid testing.
When you come in for a test, the testing counselor will conduct a brief risk assessment, and ask any questions you may have about testing.
The Rural AIDS Action Network is open from 8am-4:00pm Monday-Friday.
The Rural AIDS Action Network provides anonymous or confidential testing services. Anonymous testing means we do not require you to provide personally identifiable information. If you choose to test confidentially, we do collect individually identifying information. Either of these options can be discussed with your testing counselor.
All information you provide in your testing session is confidential and protected under HIPAA regulations and Minnesota data privacy laws. If your test result is reactive, we are required to report your test result to the Minnesota Department of Health, along with any personal identifiable information you provided us. Your testing counselor will explain all of this and ask you to sign a form saying that you understand how your information may be used and that you are consenting to be tested.
Check out the Risk Assessment below, if you have or are currently engaging in any of these risky behaviors you should consider getting a test. How often you should be tested depends on how frequently you are engaging in these risks:
- Had unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sexual activity or intercourse.
- Had unprotected sex with a man who has had sex with another man or other men.
- Had unprotected sex with someone who has HIV,AIDS, or Hepatitis C or who you think might have been infected.
- Had unprotected sex with someone you believe has injected drugs (someone who “shoots up”).
- Injected drugs, steroids, or vitamins, or have a sexual partner who did or does so.
- Shared needles and/or the same cooker, cotton, rinse water, or other possibly contaminated materials.
- Had multiple sexual partners without condoms.
- Given or received money or drugs in exchange for sex.
- Had a sexually transmitted infections (STI), such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes or warts, or had a sexual partner with an STD.
- Received transfusions of blood or blood components between early 1978 and mid-1985, or had a sexual partner who did.
- Had sexual partners who have had other sexual partners who did any of the above.
If you answer “yes” to ANY of these questions you may be at increased risk for HIV and/or Hepatitis C.
To inquire about free and confidential HIV testing in your area, make the toll-free call at 1-800-966-9735.