Menu

The Damien CenterDamien Cares, and Walgreens will be closed on December 24th-December 26th and December 31st-January 1st. Normal hours to resume January 2nd. 

Testing Hours: The Joseph F. Miller Testing Center will be closed on December 22nd. Additionally, on December 21st and December 28th, we will only be conducting HIV tests (no STI testing). Normal hour to resume on January 2nd. 

HIV Prevention FAQs

Check out our FAQs below for answers to your most common questions. Want to learn more? Visit AIDS.gov for comprehensive HIV/AIDS information, resources, and more. Or submit your question to The Damien Center here.

Q: What does HIV mean?
A: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Q: What does AIDS mean?
A: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Q: What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
A: HIV is the virus that causes a person to develop AIDS. AIDS is a diagnosis given to individuals that are HIV positive when their immune system has weakened enough to make them vulnerable to life-threatening infections.

Q: How is HIV transmitted?
A: HIV is transmitted through body fluids. Blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk are the only four fluids that are able to transmit HIV from one person to another.

Q: What is an STI?
A: Sexually Transmitted Infection. These infections were previously known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), though STI is currently used.

Q: Do I have to have my blood drawn to be tested for HIV?
A: Not at all! Our testing center offers rapid-response, oral HIV testing services. However, some STI testing may require a blood sample.

Q: How long will it take to learn my test results?
A: Our rapid-response HIV test results are available within 20 minutes. Other STI testing results may take up to two weeks to process.

Q: How frequently should I be tested?
A: Testing frequency should be based on your level of risk. It may take up to 3 months after exposure to detect HIV antibodies. It is generally suggested that sexually active individuals get tested in six month intervals.

Q: What are the signs/symptoms of HIV?
A: There are no reliable signs or symptoms associated with HIV infection. Many people who test positive for the virus have no indication anything is wrong with their health.

Q: What if I have symptoms of another STI?
A: If you are exhibiting signs or symptoms (itching, burning, rash) of a STI or know you have a sexual partner that has tested positive for a STI, you should seek treatment with a medical provider. If you do not have a medical provider and need resources for treatment, our testing counselors can help connect you with those services.