HIV Testing & Information

If you’ve ever had unprotected sex or shared a needle with anyone for any reason—even someone you know and trust—you may be at risk for contracting HIV.

Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware of their status because they have not been tested. Studies show that someone who is HIV positive and unaware of his or her HIV status is more likely to infect others.  It’s important to know your HIV status.

  • About 23,000 Virginians are known to be living with HIV/AIDS.
  • In Virginia one out of every 370 people are infected with HIV.
  • According to recently released information from the CDC, it is estimated that there are over 50,000 new HIV infections each year in the United States.

HIV Testing @ FFC

At FFC, we understand that fear and anxiety prevent many people from choosing to get tested. For this reason, we have made it easier than ever to get an HIV test.  Testing is always FREE and CONFIDENTIAL!

The testing options offered at FFC include:  An oral swab where we will take an oral fluid sample from your mouth or a finger stick test where a small amount of blood is taken from your finger.  When you call to set up your HIV testing appointment, we will conduct a brief assessment that will help us to determine the best testing option for you.

Fan Free Clinic specializes in providing compassionate, non-judgmental and knowledgeable counselors who will be available to help you every step of the way.  Your test counselor will help you understand how the test works, what the test results mean and help facilitate you into care should you need it.  From start to finish, our HIV Test Counselors will take the utmost care in assisting you.

HIV Testing FAQs

How are HIV tests performed?
To perform the HIV test, we will take an oral fluid sample from your mouth. In some cases, we may opt to do a finger stick test where a small amount of blood is taken from your finger. Only in special circumstances do we offer full blood draw HIV tests.

How much does the test cost?
Nothing.  The test is provided at no cost to you.

How long will it take to receive my test result?
Your test result will be available in 20 minutes.  Your test counselor will discuss your test result with you and may make recommendations based on your individual situation.  At your request, we will provide your HIV test results in writing.

Is the test accurate?
This test is 99.8% accurate.  Remember, though, that it can take up to three (3) months after HIV exposure/infection for the HIV antibodies to show up on a test.  Please read our detailed 3-month window period information (below). Depending on your risk status, we may recommend that you get retested in the future.

Is your testing confidential or anonymous?
FFC offers confidential testing.  We will ask you for personal information such as your name, date of birth, address, etc.  Your name and your test results are reported to the Virginia Department of Health.  This information is not accessible to the general public or insurance agencies.

What are the testing outcomes?
Your test result may be negative, preliminary positive, or indeterminate.  In the event that it is preliminary positive, we will recommend and require a confirmatory test.  This is done by getting another oral sample from you and sending it to a laboratory.  It will take approximately one (1) week for that result to return; we will make a follow-up appointment with you to discuss your final results.

If your result is indeterminate, it means the test did not produce a result. This is not an indication of your HIV status.  We will perform another test where we may need a small blood sample from your finger.

What happens if I test positive?
For those who test positive for HIV, we will make referrals for case management, medical care and any other service that we can help you access. We also offer partner counseling and referral services. You will not be alone!

The “3 month Window Period”

The HIV test that is offered at FFC is an HIV antibody test that looks for HIV antibodies—not the actual virus itself. Everyone’s body is different.  After being infected with HIV, some people will immediately begin to produce HIV antibodies that may be detected by an antibody test.  For others it may take several months after they become infected before their bodies produce the HIV antibodies that the test is designed to detect.

And, research has shown that for some people it can take even longer—up to three (3) months after infection—before the HIV antibody test returns a positive result.

So, what does this mean? Basically, it means that each and every time you are potentially exposed to HIV infection, the 3-month window period starts over.  If it’s possible that you may have been exposed to HIV within the previous 3 months, then you may want to consider when you will need to retest.  Only you know the date of your last possible exposure.  Please keep this in mind when you are determining when you will get retested.