home | get involved

FAQ

 

Should I get an HIV Test?

The following are behaviors that increase your chances of getting HIV. If you answer yes to any of them, you should definitely get an HIV test. If you continue with any of these behaviors, you should be tested every year. Talk to a health care provider about an HIV testing schedule that is right for you.

  • Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?

  • Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners?

  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?

  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis?

  • Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?

If you have had sex with someone whose history of sex partners and/or drug use is unknown to you or if you or your partner has had many sex partners, then you have more of a chance of being infected with HIV. Both you and your new partner should get tested for HIV, and learn the results, before having sex for the first time.

For women who plan to become pregnant, testing is even more important. If a woman is infected with HIV, medical care and certain drugs given during pregnancy can lower the chance of passing HIV to her baby. All women who are pregnant should be tested during each pregnancy.



How long after a possible exposure should I wait to get tested for HIV?

Most HIV tests are antibody tests that measure the antibodies your body makes against HIV. It can take some time for the immune system to produce enough antibodies for the antibody test to detect and this time period can vary from person to person. This time period is commonly referred to as the “window period”. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 2 to 8 weeks (the average is 25 days). Even so, there is a chance that some individuals will take longer to develop detectable antibodies. Therefore, if the initial negative HIV test was conducted within the first 3 months after possible exposure, repeat testing should be considered >3 months after the exposure occurred to account for the possibility of a false-negative result. Ninety seven percent will develop antibodies in the first 3 months following the time of their infection. In very rare cases, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibodies to HIV.

Another type of test is an RNA test, which detects the HIV virus directly. The time between HIV infection and RNA detection is 9-11 days. These tests, which are more costly and used less often than antibody tests, are used in some parts of the United States.



How do HIV tests work?

Once HIV enters the body, the immune system starts to produce antibodies – (chemicals that are part of the immune system that recognize invaders like bacteria and viruses and mobilize the body's attempt to fight infection). In the case of HIV, these antibodies cannot fight off the infection, but their presence is used to tell whether a person has HIV in his or her body. In other words, most HIV tests look for the HIV antibodies rather than looking for HIV itself. There are tests that look for HIV's genetic material directly, but these are not in widespread use.

The most common HIV tests use blood to detect HIV infection. Tests using saliva or urine are also available. Some tests take a few days for results, but rapid HIV tests can give results in about 20 minutes. All positive HIV tests must be followed up by another test to confirm the positive result. Results of this confirmatory test can take a few days to a few weeks.



What's involved in an HIV test?

In most cases the rapid test is a screening test that produces very quick results, in approximately 20 minutes. Rapid tests use blood from a vein or from a finger stick, or oral fluid to look for the presence of antibodies to HIV. As is true for all screening tests, a reactive rapid HIV test result must be confirmed with a follow-up confirmatory test before a final diagnosis of infection can be made.



If I test HIV negative, does that mean that my sex partner is HIV negative also?

No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status. Your negative test result does not indicate whether or not your partner has HIV. HIV is not necessarily transmitted every time you have sex. Therefore, your taking an HIV test should not be seen as a method to find out if your partner is infected.

Ask your partner if he or she has been tested for HIV and what risk behaviors he or she has engaged in, both currently and in the past. Think about getting tested together. It is important to take steps to reduce your risk of getting HIV. Not having (abstaining from) sex is the most effective way to avoid HIV. If you choose to be sexually active, having sex with one person who only has sex with you and who is uninfected is also effective. If you are not sure that both you and your partner are HIV negative, use a latex condom to help protect both you and your partner from HIV and other STDs. Studies have shown that latex condoms are very effective, though not 100%, in preventing HIV transmission when used correctly and consistently. If either partner is allergic to latex, plastic (polyurethane) condoms for either the male or female can be used.



What if I test positive for HIV?

If you test positive for HIV, the sooner you take steps to protect your health, the better. Early medical treatment and a healthy lifestyle can help you stay well. Prompt medical care may delay the onset of AIDS and prevent some life-threatening conditions. There are a number of important steps you can take immediately to protect your health:

  • See a licensed health care provider, even if you do not feel sick. Try to find a health care provider who has experience treating HIV. There are now many medications to treat HIV infection and help you maintain your health. It is never too early to start thinking about treatment possibilities.

  • Have a TB (tuberculosis) test. You may be infected with TB and not know it. Undetected TB can cause serious illness, but it can be successfully treated if caught early.

  • Smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, or using illegal drugs (such as methamphetamines) can weaken your immune system. There are programs available that can help you stop or reduce your use of these substances.

  • Get screened for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Undetected STDs can cause serious health problems. It is also important to practice safe-sex behaviors so you can avoid getting STDs.

There is much you can do to stay healthy. Learn all that you can about maintaining good health. Not having (abstaining from) sex is the most effective way to avoid transmitting HIV to others. If you choose to have sex, use a latex condom to help protect your partner from HIV and other STDs. Studies have shown that latex condoms are very effective, though not 100%, in preventing HIV transmission when used correctly and consistently. If either partner is allergic to latex, plastic (polyurethane) condoms for either the male or female can be used.



How can I learn more about testing?

JIJUE's VCT partner is Liverpool VCT Care and Treatment and youth can access free counseling by calling 0800 720 121 TOLL-FREE or lucy -- at --liverpoolvct.org. You can visit their site at http://www.liverpoolvct.org



I'm HIV positive. Where can I get information about treatment?

Send your contact information to jijuemail--at--jijue.org, and we will confidentially link you up with one of our counsellors.

 

^ back to top

Events

 

Past Events


February 14, 2009

Egerton University JIJUE

I Choose Life - Africa Rift valley region is running their JIJUE week starting February 16 to 21 at Egerton University. There will be a special Valentines Moonlight Counseling and Testing drive on February 14. The JIJUE week will be spiced with exciting activities from the Egerton University culture week. Egerton JIJUE! For more info, Contact barasa@ichooselife.or.ke

February 20, 2009

Jars of Clay Concert
w/ DJ Mozz/Pete Odera and more! (Mavuno Dome Bellevue)

The 1 Million campaign will be officially launched at a colorful concert featuring Grammy Award winning Rock band - Jars of Clay. They will be accompanied by performances from Kenya's own great acts such as Eric Wainaina, Pete Odera, Kanjii, Atemi, DJ Mozz, M.O.G, A-Star, Jimmy Gait, Juliani, and others who believe in this noble cause.

Location:
Mavuno Dome Bellevue (6pm - 10pm)

Tickets:
Kshs 850/= in advance; 1000/= at the gate

February 22, 2009

Jars of Clay Concert
w/ DJ Mozz/Pete Odera and more! (KICC)

The 1 Million campaign will be officially launched at a colorful concert featuring Grammy Award winning Rock band - Jars of Clay. They will be accompanied by performances from Kenya's own great acts such as Eric Wainaina, Pete Odera, Kanjii, Atemi, DJ Mozz, M.O.G, A-Star, Jimmy Gait, Juliani, and others who believe in this noble cause.

Location:
KICC (2pm - 6pm)

Tickets:
Kshs 350/= in advance; 550/= at the gate

February 22, 2009

KU Testing Week
Kenyatta University

KU Testing Week - Kenyatta University will be holding their annual HIV testing drive. Jars of Clay will get a chance to interact with the peer educators from the university peer educators before the week starts.The peer educators are already running an essay competition, and have schedules exciting activities such as candle light walk, Mr & Miss status competition.

February 28, 2009

KU Mombasa Campus JIJUE


I Choose Life - Africa Coast region in partnership with Kenyatta University Students Association of Mombasa Campus will be organizing a drug and substance abuse awareness day themed around Mr. and Miss KU Mombasa Campus. ICL will be facilitating Counseling & testing drive and forge new partnerships with various stakeholders. For more info, Contact kombe@ichooselife.or.ke

March 2, 2009

Spring JIJUE VCT Drive
United States International University

United States International University peer educators are organizing a one of a kind testing week. Known for their ability to conduct things differently, the students run a stigma reduction campaign dubbed "I am HIV positive" last semester. We are watching out for an exceptionally exciting and creative JIJUE week from these folks.

March 14, 2009

Chrisc Bogard JIJUE 1 Million Tournament
Githogoro Grounds
9 am-6pm

 

March 16-21, 2009

Spring JIJUE Week
United States International University

 

 

 

Blog

JIJUE Breaks New HIV Testing Frontiers at Ridgeways Baptist Church

Henry stood quietly as he listened to the cell group members planning for the coming Sunday service. Suddenly Sarah Vugigi said, "We need someone in the congregation to volunteer to be tested on the pulpit this coming Sunday". There was a long uncomfortable silence, then Henry said, "I will". The cell group members were both surprised and excited. Little did they know the battle that awaited him.

|| continue >>

MORE blog || RSS RSS Feed for Jijue Blog

Share a Story or Comment Get the Facts What can I Do?

 

 

4 in every 5 people who are infected don’t even know they are infected

Young people ages 10-24 make up one-third of the Kenyan population

The highest rate of HIV infection is among Kenyans between the ages of 15 to 34

Over 2.7% of AIDS cases occur in youth ages 15-24 years

Women are 4 times more likely to be infected with HIV than men

3 out of every 5 HIV-infected Kenyans are women

MORE FACTS >

Africa Blog Directory