Approximately 21% of people living with HIV, in the United States, do not know they are infected. HIV testing is more important than ever. When HIV enters the body, it begins to attack certain white blood cells called T-Helper Cells (also called CD4 cells). The immune system then produces HIV-antibodies to fight off the infection. Although these antibodies are ineffective in destroying HIV, their presence is used to confirm HIV infection. Therefore, HIV tests look for the presence of HIV antibodies; they do not test for the virus itself.
It can take between 24 days and six months before the body can create enough antibodies to be detected by most widely used HIV tests. Most (over 95%) people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 months of exposure to HIV. During the time between exposure and the test, it is important to avoid any behavior that might result in exposure to another person's blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and/or breast milk.
The benefits of HIV testing are:
Unity Wellness Center offers a confidential oral fluid HIV antibody test.
Due to shortage of testing staff and scheduling, testing by appointment is strongly recommended. Walk-ins can be accepted based on testing staff availability, but not recommended.
Please call 334-887-5244 or 1-800-799-4967 to make your appointment. All testing will include confidential prevention pre/post-test counseling and appropriate referrals. As per Alabama public health law, Unity Wellness Center does not offer anonymous HIV testing services.