Join us for a free HIV Testing Day event on June 27th!

national hiv testing day; june 27: 10am - 5pm 2230 S. Park St., Madison;  Free rapid HIV testing, with results in 20 min;  Freebies: Gas cards, grocery vouchers, and more, while supplies last;  Snacks and games, with chances to win prizes

Thursday, June 27, 2024 marks National HIV Testing Day, and we’re hosting a free, walk-in rapid HIV testing clinic that day to celebrate! We’ll be at our 2230 S. Park Street location from 10:00am to 5:00pm. We’ll have rapid HIV tests, with results in 20 minutes, as well as freebies, snacks, and games.

While health experts recommend everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once, fewer than a third of people in Wisconsin report ever being tested. People diagnosed with HIV today who get treatment can live as long as people without HIV, but because of stigma and trauma reaching back to the beginning of the HIV epidemic, it may feel scary to be tested, especially for the first time.

Let’s take some of the mystery out of the process by talking about what it’s like to be tested for HIV and what happens if you test positive.

What happens during a rapid HIV test

At our event on June 27th, we’ll be doing rapid HIV tests. This is a great way to have your result in about 20 minutes. Here’s how it works:

  1. You fill out a consent form and demographic form. Your forms are confidential.
  2. We’ll talk to you about the test and what it means when you get your result.
  3. We’ll poke your finger and use a pipette to get a small amount of blood to run the test.
  4. We’ll share your results with you in about 20 minutes.

Your Results

  • If your test is negative for HIV: Continue to protect your sexual health by getting tested again in the future, getting PrEP if you need it, and picking up free sexual health supplies at our East Washington clinic.
  • If your rapid test is reactive (positive for HIV): Rapid tests are very accurate, but we follow any reactive rapid tests with a blood draw and send that to a lab to confirm if you have HIV. Our staff will talk to you about the next steps and answer your questions.

There is no shame in testing positive for HIV. With treatment, you can stay healthy and live your life how you want.

If you test positive, we’ll connect you with linkage to care specialists who will meet your needs when accessing HIV care. You’ll be prescribed antiretroviral therapy. When taken as prescribed, this medicine stops HIV from multiplying. Without treatment, HIV replicates in the body and makes the immune system stop working properly. This allows opportunistic illnesses and infections to thrive. With treatment, the level of virus in the body is so low, it can’t attack the immune system. HIV medicine makes it so even tests can’t detect HIV in the body—and that’s the goal, for HIV to be “undetectable.”

When someone reaches an undetectable level of virus—and continues to take their medication as prescribed—they can live healthily like anyone else.

U=U: Undetectable Equals Untransmittable: People with an undetectable amount of HIV can keep their partners and babies HIV-free.

People who are undetectable cannot transmit HIV to their sex partners. Pregnant people with HIV can have healthy babies without HIV; the CDC says the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby can be 1% or less if the pregnant person takes HIV medicine daily as prescribed throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery and gives HIV medicine to their baby for 4-6 weeks after giving birth.

The Prevention Access Campaign is a great place to learn more about U=U.

Miss our testing event? Need to be tested again later? We offer free, confidential HIV testing for everyone.

We offer free, rapid HIV testing at our 2705 E. Washington Avenue clinic for everyone. If you test positive, we will connect you with treatment options. Book an appointment on our website. Want to talk to someone about HIV? Call or text us at (608) 419-8676.

This content is free for use with credit to Public Health Madison & Dane County .

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