What is HIV?
HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is the virus that
causes AIDS. HIV damages the body’s immune system. The immune system protects
the body from disease. HIV has many stages. People can have HIV for years
without getting sick. They may look and feel healthy and not know they have
What is AIDS?
AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is the advanced
stage of the HIV disease when the immune system becomes very weak. When this
happens, other diseases and infections can enter the body.
What are the symptoms?
Many of the symptoms of HIV are also symptoms of other
illnesses or infections. These may
weight loss of more than 10 pounds
fever and/or drenching night sweats
tiredness or diarrhea
glands--usually in the neck, armpits or groin
spots or unusual sores on the tongue or mouth
How do people get HIV?
HIV is in human blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast
milk. You can get HIV if:
have oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV
share needles and works to inject drugs, vitamins or steroids
share needles used for tattoos or piercing
can also be passed from mother to fetus in the womb, during birth or
HIV must get into the body to infect a person. You
can’t get HIV from donating blood; casual contact such as hugging, dry
kissing or sharing food; from telephones, toilet seats, towels or eating
HIV cannot be passed in tears, saliva, sweat or urine.
Is there a cure or treatment?
There is no cure for HIV or AIDS. There
are treatments that can help people stay healthy and live longer. People living with HIV/AIDS may need to
take anti-retroviral medications on a daily basis to manage HIV disease.
HIV can be prevented.
How is HIV detected?
The HIV test looks for antibodies in your body. It usually
takes up to three months after infection for the body to make HIV antibodies
that can be detected by a test. In rare cases, it can take up to six months.
This is called the “window period.”
What are the types of testing?
There are two types of tests – anonymous and confidential.
you are the only one who will know your results. You use a code number to get
Confidential means your name is known and
your test result is put into your medical record.
How is testing done?
You may be tested one of two ways:
test: with a needle, taking a sample of blood
swab, taking a sample of a fluid (not saliva)
A blood test is recommended for confirmation of a positive
result, regardless of the method first used.
The Health Department offers
two types of tests. A blood test can be performed in any of the four
county health centers. Rapid oral tests are
available at the
Learn more about HIV testing,
including times and locations for walk-in oral tests.
How soon will I know my results?
Results from blood can be known in three to seven days.
The OraQuick rapid test allows results to be known in about 20 minutes.
What do the test results mean?
A negative test means no HIV antibodies were in your body
at the time of the test. This means you do not have HIV. It may also mean you
have HIV but your body has not made HIV antibodies yet. You will want to be
tested again three to six months to be sure.
A positive test means you have HIV. Positive results are
almost 100 percent accurate, regardless of the method used.
The OraQuick test (oral test
with results available in 20 minutes) only provides either a negative or
preliminary positive result. If you get a preliminary positive result using
If you get a preliminary positive result using
this test, you will need to have another test to confirm the OraQuick test
result, using one of the other methods. `
Where can I be tested?
The Health Department offers both anonymous and
OraQuick testing is available during specific
walk-in testing times at the times/locations listed below:
5 to 7 p.m. on
Thursdays at the Marguerite Robinson Community Center, 400 W. Sixth St.,
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the
first Wednesday of each month at the Marguerite Robinson Community Center, 400 W.
Sixth St., Newport, Ky.
Noon to 2 p.m. on the
second Saturday of the month at the Lane Chapel, C.M.E. Church, 125 Lynn
St., Covington, Ky.
3 to 5 p.m. on the third
Tuesday of each month at the Campbell County Health Center, 1098 Monmouth
St., Newport, Ky.
1 to 4 p.m. on the fourth
Monday of each month at the Kenton County Health Center, 2002 Madison Ave.,
1 to 4 p.m. on the third
Sunday of each month at St. John's United Church of Christ, 520 Fairfield
Ave., Bellevue, Ky.
centers in Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Grant counties, offer the
blood test only, which may be anonymous or confidential. An appointment is necessary.
What types of services are available to people diagnosed with
HIV or AIDS?
The Health Department offers case management
services for those residing in Boone, Campbell, Kenton, Grant, Pendleton,
Owen, Carroll, and Gallatin counties who have been diagnosed with HIV or
AIDS. Services include:
to physicians and other medical resources
assistance for medical and basic needs based on meeting income
education and support, including prevention counseling
What community resources are available in Northern
Kentucky for people living with HIV/AIDS?
of Northern Kentucky (859.483.5757) provides supportive services to those
living with HIV/AIDS and their family members. They offer a monthly social
dinner, weekly support meetings, a yearly Healing Weekend and help sponsor
local HIV events.
Where can I get more information on HIV/AIDS?
For more information online, you can visit:
Cabinet for Health and Family Services HIV/AIDS Branch
Disease Control and Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
For more information on the Health Department’s HIV/AIDS
services, education programs, please call