- HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
- HIV is found in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
- Unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex, sharing needles or syringes, or getting HIV-infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions in open sores or wounds are all ways to get HIV.
- There are about forty thousand new HIV infections reported in the U.S. each year.
How is HIV transmitted?
- HIV is found in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk, and is transmitted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex, sharing needles, or from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
- Men who have sex with men are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
- African Americans and Hispanics, especially women, are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
- About two students per thousand have HIV on college campuses in the U.S. Most do not know that they are infected with HIV.
What are the symptoms of HIV?
Symptoms of HIV include a flu-like reaction that occur during the first few weeks of exposure:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen glands
These symptoms go away within days or weeks, and symptoms, often more pronounced, do not appear again for many years. During this time, HIV has been disabling the immune system.
How is HIV diagnosed?
HIV is diagnosed through an antibody test, and testing is recommended at least three months after possible exposure. This is how long it takes for HIV antibodies to develop to provide an accurate test result. Detection of HIV twenty-eight days after potential exposure is also possible through a blood test (known as an HIV DNA PCR Test) that identifies HIV antigens.
How is HIV treated?
Many effective treatments are available for people living with HIV that significantly enhance their quality of life.
How do I protect myself and my partner from HIV?
The surest way to do this is to abstain from any type of sexual activity with another person, and not share needles if you use steroids, hormones, or other drugs. If you do choose to be sexually active, use a condom for all vaginal, anal and oral sex. Vaginal and anal intercourse are the highest risk activities to engage in, so always use a condom for these activities.
Where can I get condoms and dental dams?
Health Services has free latex and non-latex condoms and dental dams available to you. Just stop by the Office of Health Education and Promotion, Health Services, Room 249.
Getting Tested for HIV at UNH
We offer rapid HIV antibody testing using Oraquick Advance. Oraquick Advance is a non-invasive oral collection device that provides results in twenty minutes. Oraquick Advance has a greater than 99% accuracy rate.
- When you meet with the HIV test counselor, you will be asked a series of questions to determine your risk for contracting HIV or other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
- The HIV testing process will be explained and you will be taken to the Health Services Lab to have the test performed.
- You will receive your results 20 minutes after completing the test.
- HIV Counseling and Testing is confidential, but not anonymous.
- The state of New Hampshire now collects data on all individuals who test HIV positive. Because of this, we are required by law to collect basic information about you during your HIV testing appointment.
If you can't attend the walk-in clinic, you can make an appointment with a Health Service medical provider by calling (603) 862-2856. The only difference between this and the walk-in clinic is that your test results will be included in your health record.
We can also provide serum (blood) HIV test for documentation purposes (Peace Corp, VISA, Insurance, etc.). In these instances, the wait time for test results is two weeks.
Related Educational Information
- Common Signs of Sexually Transmitted Infections- Some basic information on STIs.
- Men and HIV Prevention- An overview of the UNH HIV prevention campaign that targets men.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Information on HIV
- HIV Among Youth in the U.S.
- NH Department of Health and Human Services - HIV
Confidential HIV Testing Walk-In Clinic
- First Thursday of the Month
- 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
- No appointment needed
HIV Testing by Appointment
- Call (603) 862-2856
Testing is available for UNH students, faculty, staff and their dependents who are 18 years or older.
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