All About HIV/AIDS and STI Prevention

Triad Health Project provides STI and HIV education programs, presentations, and literature to the community.

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How are HIV and AIDS different?

What Is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. It breaks down your body’s immune system. Your immune system protects you against diseases. HIV is a virus that lives in blood, semen, breast milk and vaginal fluids.

What Is AIDS?  

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the stage where HIV has severely damaged the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable for more infectious diseases.

Undetectable = Non transmissible

A person who is HIV+, who is successfully taking their prescribed mediation cannot infect another person once the amount of virus in their body is undetectable. Early detection and early treatment is key for not only the individual, but also for public health.

How do you get HIV?

  • By having unprotected anal, oral, and/or vaginal intercourse with an HIV+ individual whose viral load is not suppressed
  • By sharing needles, syringes, cookers or cotton (works) to shoot drugs.
  • By being born to an HIV infected mother.
  • You can have HIV and not have AIDS. You may feel well and look healthy for years.

What are the signs of HIV?

Quite often, people with HIV have no signs at all. Sometimes HIV shows signs a lot like the flu. The signs may be similar to and mistaken for other diseases. The difference with HIV is, the signs don’t go away, or keep coming back. If you have any of these signs, and they last several weeks or more, see your doctor.

  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss
  • feeling very tired all the time/constant fatigue
  • fever or night sweats
  • diarrhea
  • dry coughing not from a cold or smoking
  • swollen glands in the neck, armpit or groin
  • Pink, blue or purple spots on the skin or in the mouth. (They look like bruises, but don’t go away.)

You cannot get HIV from casual encounters, such as:

  • Shaking hands
  • Hugging
  • Kissing
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Using bathtubs
  • Toilet seats
  • Swimming pools
  • Touching doorknobs
  • Telephones
  • From the air
  • Sharing drinks, food, glasses, dishes, forks or spoons

Online Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - HIV/AIDS Information
National Minority AIDS Council
National Minority AIDS Council
Government Resource about HIV/AIDS
Government Resource about HIV/AIDS
POZ Magazine for People Living with HIV/AIDS
POZ Magazine for People Living with HIV/AIDS
The Well Project: Women and HIV/AIDS
The Well Project: Women and HIV/AIDS

When you know your status, you are in control. If you are HIV positive, today’s treatments can suppress HIV and prevent you from developing AIDS. You can protect yourself and the people you love. You can lead a full and rewarding life. When you don’t know you’re HIV positive, or when you’re not in care, the disease is in control, and you are living on its terms.

Compassionate, Confidential and Diverse: Our Commitment to Free HIV and STI Testing

Free, confidential testing for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections is provided at the Triad Health Project Greensboro office every Monday evening (except holidays) from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.We also offer Walk-In-Wednesdays from 1pm – 3pm.

Testing for HIV and Syphilis is performed only as a blood test by drawing a small sample to be sent to a laboratory. Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea is done through a small urine analysis. Results will be available in 2 weeks from the time of the testing and can be picked up in person at Triad Health Project in Greensboro.

You can pick up your results:

  • Mondays from 8:30am to 7pm
  • Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30am to 5pm
  • Fridays from 8:30pm to 3pm

Bring your testing return card and your photo I.D., and one of our trained staff will provide your testing results, answer your questions, and connect you with treatment if you need it. We also have free condoms and lube samples available—just ask!

Triad Health Project’s Greensboro Location

801 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, NC

Frequent Questions About Testing

What happens during testing?

The testing process will take about 15 minutes. Once paperwork is completed, you will sit and talk with a counselor who will ask you questions about your risk of getting HIV and STI’s. Afterwards, a small sample of blood is drawn to be tested for the HIV and Syphilis testing. You will provide a small urine analysis for the chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.

What does a positive or negative result mean?

A positive result means that the test found antibodies and viral RNA in your blood and that you are infected with HIV.

A negative result means that at the time of the test, no antibodies or viral RNA from HIV were found in your blood. However, a “false negative” test is possible in the event that a person tests too soon after an exposure to HIV, and the virus has not yet replicated in the bloodstream in a sufficient quantity to be picked up by a test. It takes an average of ten days after exposure for there to be enough virus in the bloodstream to be detected by a viral RNA test.

The STI Connection

Sexually Transmitted Infections, or “STI’s” such as Syphilis, Herpes Simplex Virus, Chlamydia, or Gonorrhea are diseases you can get from having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Obtain more information about various Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

Bacterial Vaginosis

Chlamydia

Gonorrhea

Genital Herpes

Genital HPV Infection

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Syphilis

Trichomoniasis