The Importance of Follow-up
Kevin Varner, Director of Prevention and Education
When you are tested for HIV and STIs at Triad Health Project, either at our Monday night testing, or at one of our community outreach events, it's important to come back for post-test counseling. I've noted over the last three years how many folks use the "no news is good news" approach, meaning, "I haven't heard that I'm infected, so everything must be fine".
While that may be true in many cases, here's why coming back for your results is a great way to protect your health:
1. You'll be educated by our staff as to exactly what dates the test results will cover. Remember-a confirmatory blood draw test will look for HIV infection from any unprotected sexual activity which may expose you to HIV
three weeks before you test, and before
. A rapid, oral antibody test will look for HIV antibodies from
three months ago and before.
Knowing when you may have put yourself at risk will assist you in determining if you need a follow-up test, and also when to schedule your next screening.
2. We will give you a paper copy of your results, and also provide you with condoms and lube samples. Just ask.
3. It gives us the opportunity to be sure you've been contacted and treated for an STI (sexually transmitted infection), and link you to care and treatment if you haven't.
4. It gives you the opportunity to see our smiling faces again, and have some one-on-one time with our health education staff. We're glad to answer your questions.
Follow-up is a good idea. Please be sure to come back for your results in two weeks after you've tested. For your convenience, we've also extended our testing hours!