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The Prevention Services Team at Positive Link offers a wide variety of programs designed to reach individuals at risk for contracting HIV throughout our region. Early intervention can make a drastic difference in the health outcomes for the individual living with HIV. By promoting education and testing in at-risk populations, Positive Link assists individuals in determining their HIV status and educating the community on ways in which risk for contracting HIV can be reduced.
Staff from Positive Link are available to provide group level educational presentations on HIV, STIs, and Hepatitis. While we are unable to fulfill every request for a speaker, we will do our best to provide your organization or group with education. Our primary target audiences for outreach education are those with substance use issues, men who have sex with men, and African American females. If you're interested in outreach education, please fill out our Request a Speaker form .
COUNSELING, TESTING, AND REFERRAL
Positive Link offers free HIV testing to anyone in the community. We suggest those who have access to primary health care receive testing through their physician, but do not require this. Positive Link uses a variety of FDA approved screening tests, which may include:
- Phlebotomy (blood draw) Test – this test takes two weeks for results, but provides a HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay confirmatory of result
- OraQuick Rapid Test – this test uses an oral swab and results are achieved in 20 minutes.
Positive Link provides most testing at sites in our community. Limited walk-in hours and appointments are available at our office. For more information on testing hours and locations, please call 812.353.9150 or 812.353.3169 or visit our Facebook pages for Positive Link and Community Health.
SHOULD I BE TESTED FOR HIV?
It is recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all adults be tested once in their lifetime and more frequently for those with risk factors. According to the CDC, if you answer yes to any of the following questions, you should get an HIV test because these things increase your chances of getting HIV:
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner?
- Have you had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test?
- Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works (for example, water or cotton) with others?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with or sought treatment for another sexually transmitted disease?
- 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?
WHEN SHOULD I GET TESTED?
A standard guideline to follow is that antibodies will not typically be present in the blood for up to 28 days. Antibodies will appear sometime between 1 and 3 months. In rare cases, antibodies may not be detectab;e for six months. The earliest an antibody test will detect infection is three weeks. Most (approx. 97 percent), but not all, people will develop detecab;e antibodies within three to 12 weeks of infection.
In addition to testing for HIV, Positive Link offers testing for Hepatitis C and Syphilis for persons with risk factors for infection.
COMPREHENSIVE RISK COUNSELING SERVICES
CRCS is a Center for Disease Control program providing short-term, risk reduction case management to decrease the spread of HIV. Case managers can work with either individuals who are currently HIV negative but are engaging in behaviors that increase their risk for HIV or individuals who are currently HIV positive and are engaging in behaviors that can transmit HIV.
SPECIAL POPULATION SUPPORT PROGRAM
SPSP is a program to provide early disease intervention for those in our community using drugs and alcohol with a focus on people who inject drugs. This program is active in two regions, both Bloomington and surrounding areas as well as Terre Haute and the surrounding areas. In addition, Supportive Care counseling is available for people living with HIV who struggle with substance use or abuse (see Client Services for more information on Supportive Care.