U Think? is a program for Heterosexual African American men and women, Men who have sex with men over the age of eighteen who are at risk of contracting HIV as well as persons currently infected with HIV. U THINK has six components to it: Condom Distribution, One on One sessions, and Community event sessions, RESPECT, VOICES/VOCES and Partnership for Health.
RESPECT is composed of two individualized sessions where a Prevention Specialist works one on one with the individuals who are at risk of contracting HIV in exploring how and why the individual puts himself / herself at risk. Once the individual has a better appreciation of their risk, the Specialist helps the individual to develop at least one risk reduction activity as part of their risk reduction plan. The Specialist assists the individual in understanding their current status by being tested for HIV, and then offers support and encouragement in practicing safer sex.
We will offer another program for high risk individuals called VOICES (Video Opportunities for Innovative Condom Education and Safer Sex). A video is watched and a discussion is held on safer sex options that specifically target the effective use of condoms. U THINK? was also funded to do condom distribution to individuals as well as to barber shops, hairdressers and various other businesses. U THINK? has an intervention for Positive individuals called Partnership for Health which deals with making positive choices.
The Prevention team is available to do community events as well as having those important one on one conversation with people from the six counties we serve.
U Think? Conducts recruitment, education and outreach efforts in Bay, Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Gulf and Washington Counties.
For more information please contact Pamela Williams at (850)785-1088 ext. 118. If you would like to take part in our prevention program you can contact: Jermaine Daniels at (850)785-1088 ext 125 or Deneika Roulhac (850)785-1088 ext. 123
HIV testing at BASIC NWFL, Inc is free and confidential testing through three mechanisms;
OraSure—a saliva based swab test that takes approximately two weeks before the results are returned from the state laboratory.
OraQuick (Rapid testing)—a saliva based swab test. This test takes approximately 20 minutes.
Clearview (Blood test) — small finger pricks test. We take a few drops of blood and within 15 minutes your results can be given.
Hep C (Blood Test) – small finger prick test. We take a few drops of blood and within 20 minutes your results are given.
Persons can choose the traditional testing method in which test results are available approximately two weeks after the test sample is taken; or they can choose the RAPID Testing, where results are available within approximately twenty minutes or Clearview where results are given in as little as 15 minutes.
Testing Hours at BASIC are:
Mondays and Tuesdays; 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.
Wednesdays; 1 P.M.-5:00pm
Fridays 1 P.M.-4:00 P.M.
(No appointment is necessary.)
For further information, call Pamela Williams at 850-785-1088 Ext. 118.
The Education and Prevention Department of BASIC NWFL, Inc. is an innovative community partner in providing superior prevention and educational services to residents of the area, especially to those most at risk of contracting HIV or other sexually transmissible diseases. In accomplishing this mission, BASIC NWFL, Inc. provides a variety of educational opportunities tailored to meet individual needs. These services include the following:
* Community Educational Forums
* Community Outreach
* U THINK?
All BASIC NWFL, Inc. education and prevention presentations are age and audience appropriate. The information we provide is presented in a manner that our audience can both understand and relate to.
For further detail on some of our Educational Programs, read below:
What should I know before I get tested? Your healthcare provider is the best person to answer your questions about HIV and testing options. You have a choice of the type of test to use. When you are tested for HIV, the presence of HIV antibodies in your body means that you have been infected with the virus that causes AIDS. You should be aware that the presence of HIV antibodies can be detected in many ways. Ask your healthcare provider for the information you need to make good choices. Some of the questions answered here are:
* What are HIV and AIDS?
* How does someone get HIV?
* How can I avoid becoming infected?
* What are my options for HIV testing?
* What is the OraSure HIV-1 Collection Device?
* What is the OraQuick ADVANCETM Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test and how is it done?
*What is Clearview
* What does a PRELIMINARY POSITIVE result mean?
* What does a NEGATIVE result mean?
* Where can I get more information?
What are HIV and AIDS? HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). It is possible for a person to have the virus for months or years before any signs of illness appear. The virus weakens the body’s ability to fight off infections. As a result, people with AIDS develop serious infections and cancers. These illnesses make them very sick and can eventually kill them.
How does someone get HIV? HIV spreads through contact with blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk from HIV infected people. Contact can come from unsafe sex. It can also come from sharing used needles and syringes. Infected women can pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding. It is also possible to become infected with HIV through a blood transfusion, although this is now very rare. People do not become infected with HIV through everyday casual contact with people at school, work, home, or anywhere else. The virus is not spread from contact with sweat, tears, saliva, or a casual kiss from an infected person (Deep, or “French” kissing is not advised). Nor can people become infected from contact with forks, cups, clothes, phones, toilet seats, or other things used by someone who is infected with HIV. People do not become infected from eating food prepared by an HIV-infected person. People have not become infected with HIV through insect bites.
How can I avoid becoming infected? The best way to avoid getting HIV is to avoid activities that would allow the virus to be passed to you. By following these suggestions, you will lower your risk of getting HIV:
* The only way to avoid sexual exposure to HIV is to have sex with an uninfected partner or to abstain.
* If you are not certain that your sex partner is uninfected, you should use a latex condom correctly every time you have sex.
* Do not share needles or syringes.
Why should I get tested? You cannot generally tell by looking at someone whether he or she has an HIV infection. A person can be infected with HIV and not know it. The virus may take time to show its effects. A person can have HIV for ten years or more before the symptoms of AIDS appear. The only way to be confident that you are not infected is to get an HIV test. It is important to find out if you are infected so that you do not infect someone else. If you know you are infected with HIV, you can and should avoid any activity that may pass it on.
It is also important to find out if you are infected so that you can receive good medical care. There are medicines that can help keep you healthy even though you are infected with HIV.
What are my options for HIV testing? OraQuick ADVANCETM provides a rapid HIV test result (in as little as 20 minutes) This type of test can be done using a sample of blood taken from your vein, a sample of oral fluid taken from your mouth, or a sample of urine and in some settings a result is needed quickly, such as in hospital emergency rooms. However, in settings where a rapid HIV test is not needed, alternative tests can be done. You also have a choice of having another type of test that would require you to wait up to two weeks for your results.
What is the OraSure HIV-1 Collection Device? The OraSure HIV-1 Oral Specimen Collection Device is a device used to collect oral fluid from the mouth in only a few minutes without using needles. The oral fluid is tested to see if it contains HIV antibodies.
If you decide to have an OraSure HIV-1 sample tested for HIV antibodies, a trained collector will ask you to place the OraSure HIV-1 Oral Collection Pad between your lower cheek and gum and gently rub the pad back and forth until it is wet, and then leave it in place for two minutes. The collector will ask you to put the pad in a vial and snap off the stick. Your sample will be sent to a laboratory for HIV-1 antibody testing.
OraSure HIV-1 specimen collection is painless and involves no needles. There will be no visible sign that you have been tested. Having an OraSure HIV-1 sample tested for HIV antibodies is a very accurate method. Blood testing, however, is even more accurate. Be aware that you have a choice of having either a blood specimen or an OraSure HIV-1 sample taken for HIV testing.
What is the OraQuick ADVANCETM Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test and how is it done? The OraQuick ADVANCETM Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test is used to see if a sample of your oral fluid or blood contains HIV antibodies. If you decide to have an OraQuick ADVANCETM test, your healthcare provider will collect an oral fluid sample or take a small droplet of blood from your finger, or draw blood from your vein, run the test, and give the results to you during the same visit. The OraQuick ADVANCETM test is very accurate. However, additional testing is necessary to confirm a preliminary positive result.
Complete information about the OraQuick ADVANCETM Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test is available from your testing counselor or healthcare provider.
What is the Clearview HIV testing?Is a rapid qualitative screening test for the detection of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human whole blood, serum and plasma. Clearview is quick and easy to use, delivering clear, dependable results in just 15 minutes from a very small sample amount of blood taken from a quick finger prick.
What does a PRELIMINARY POSITIVE result mean? A PRELIMINARY POSITIVE result suggests that antibodies to HIV may be present in your blood or oral fluid. If you receive a PRELIMINARY POSITIVE result on the test, you will need to have another test to confirm the result. You will also be encouraged to take precautions to avoid any chance of spreading HIV until your test result is confirmed.
If you are found to be infected, you may benefit from special medical care. New treatments can help keep you healthy, even though you are infected with HIV. See a doctor, even if you don’t feel sick. A doctor can help you to live longer. Other tests can tell you how strong your immune system is and what treatments might be best for you. Some people stay healthy for a long time with HIV. Others may become ill more rapidly. Be careful not to pass HIV on to others.
What does a NEGATIVE result mean? A NEGATIVE result means that this test did not detect HIV antibodies in your blood or oral fluid. However, in some cases HIV infection cannot be ruled out completely. If you recently (within 3 months) had any of the contacts described in the “How does someone get HIV?” section of this page, it is still possible that you are infected with HIV. This is because your body can take several months after you are infected to make HIV antibodies. If you became infected only recently, there may not have been enough time to develop antibodies that can be detected by the test. You should consider getting tested again in three to six months to be sure you are not infected. If you had none of the contacts that transmit HIV in the three months before your test, a negative result means you were not infected with HIV at the time of testing. Ask your healthcare provider to help you understand what your result means for you.
What is HEP C (HCV)? Often referred to as the “silent epidemic”, hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by a virus. Over time, hepatitis C can lead to permanent liver damage including cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure causing premature death.
What is the prevalence of HEP C? An estimated 5.2 million people have been infected with or have hepatitis C3 while 3.2 million people in the United States are living with chronic hepatitis C infection2 making it the most common infection of the blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately 75% (2.4 million) people do not show signs or symptoms they are ill or know they areinfected. There are approximately 17,000 new hepatitis C cases each year in the U.S., many of which go unreported.
Diagnosing hepatitis C early is key, since the longer the virus goes undetected, the greater the person’s risk of transmission and of developing serious liver disease, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. According to the CDC 19,368 people died from hepatitis C in 2013 and that number will climb to 38,000 by the year 2025.
How does the OraQuick HCV(HEP C) work? The OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody Test looks for antibodies to the Hep C virus. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. A fingerstick drop of blood is used to detect the antibodies and within 20 minutes results are given.
What does a non-reactive mean? A NON REACTIVE results means that antibodies to Hep C have not been detected and you are not infected with Hep C. However, if you have been exposed to the Hep C virus in the last 6 months, you will need to be retested again at the advice of your doctor.
What does a reactive antibody test mean?A REACTIVE results means that Hep C antibodies were found in your blood and that you have been infected with the Hep C virus at some point in time. A reactive test does not mean that you have active virus. You’ll need an additional test to determine if you are currently infected.
Where can I get more information? If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider. You can also call the National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-342-AIDS (1-800-342-2437) to talk with an HIV specialist. They can give you quick, private answers at any time, day or night. Your local health department is another place to go for information. An AIDS service organization such as BASIC NWFL can also be a good source for information, education, and help.
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