Getting tested is the most important thing you can do for yourself and for others in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Knowing your status empowers you to make informed decisions. People are more likely to use caution if they know they can spread the virus. If you are negative, you can learn how to stay negative. If you are positive, you can seek treatment to live a long and healthy life.

 

 

How does taking an HIV test help me?

Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to keep you and your partner healthy.

  • If you test positive, you can take medicine to treat HIV. Taking HIV medicine as prescribed can make the amount of HIV in your blood (viral load) very low—so low that a test can’t detect it (called an undetectable viral load). Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load is the best thing you can do to stay healthy. If your viral load stays undetectable, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
  • If you test negative, there are more HIV prevention tools available today than ever before.
  • If you are pregnant, you should be tested for HIV so that you can begin treatment if your test is positive. If a woman with HIV is treated early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby is extremely low (1% or less).

 

HIV Prevention Program

Austin Public Health's HIV Prevention program offers free confidential and anonymous counseling and testing for HIV, for those who are not experiencing symptoms.

1. Know your status by getting Tested

Austin Public Health's Sexual Health Clinic provides evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. To schedule an appointment, call 512.972.5430. Clinic hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The fee for examination and treatment is $20. The clinic is located at the first floor of the RBJ Health Center, 15 Waller Street , 78702. Click here to 

Mobile HIV Testing

The MobileHIV testing van goes to various locations throughout Austin. It is equipped with counselors, free HIV/STI testing, community resources, condoms, and other free items. Check the current van schedule on the Where to Get Tested page, or call 512-972-5580. You can also follow us on Facebook at AUSTIN HIV Prevention Program.

Red Ribbon Program

The Red Ribbon program is a free testing service by appointment only. Call 512-972-5580 to schedule an appointment. Rapid HIV tests, as well as tests for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis and Hepatitis tests are given. The counselor can discuss techniques to help reduce the risk of potential exposures, condom negotiation with partners, and future testing recommendations.

2. Use Condoms

Condoms can also help prevent other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) you can get through body fluids, like gonorrhea and chlamydia. However, they provide less protection against STDs spread through skin-to-skin contact, like human papillomavirus or HPV (genital warts), genital herpes, and syphilis.

Condom Distribution

Condom distribution locations include neighborhood centers, barber shops, liquor stores, bars, and other easily accessible local establishments.

Free Condom Delivery

3. Take Prep or Pep

Prep

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at risk for HIV take daily medicine to prevent HIV. When taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use. PrEP is much less effective when it is not taken consistently. 
Learn more about Prep

Pep

Post-exposure prophylaxis(or Pep). It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. Learn more about Pep