It is estimated that over one million people in the United States are currently living with HIV, and that 20% of these people do not even know they are infected. Statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that over 90,000 individuals living in Florida have HIV, with over 10% residing in the metropolitan Orlando area.HIV causes AIDS by damaging the cells in our immune system to the point it can no longer fend off other infections it would normally be able to prevent. The only way to tell if you have HIV is to be tested. You can't tell if someone has HIV just by looking at them and typical HIV symptoms can also be indicative of other illnesses. While it usually takes at least three months from actual exposure for a test to be able to detect the HIV antibodies in the blood, you can transmit the virus to someone else as soon as you become infected. It can take up to 10 years, or even longer, for HIV infection to develop into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, please be tested for your own peace of mind and to protect those you care about. With early detection you can receive emotional support and advice on the next steps you should take; have your health assessed and begin treatment as early as possible; take measures to protect your current or future sexual partners; and make sure that if you do fall ill that your symptoms will be taken seriously. Statistics show that the earlier you are able to start antiretroviral treatment, the more likely you are to live a long and healthy life.If you would like a free and confidential rapid HIV test, please come to our Health Center. All our rapid HIV tests are performed on a walk-in basis. If you have any questions, please contact us at 407-428-5751 Ext. 301.
The Health Care Center for the Homeless (HCCH) conducts a confidential rapid HIV testing program that is open to anyone from anywhere. There are no geographic or financial requirements to receive this test at our clinic, the Orange Blossom Family Health Center. We use an antibody test administered by finger stick and the test takes approximately 20 minutes to obtain a reactive or non-reactive result. If a reactive result is received, a blood sample is taken and forwarded to the Department of Health for confirmatory testing. It takes two weeks to receive status confirmation from this testing. There is no cost to the patient for the rapid HIV test performed here at our Health Center.HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cannot grow on its own, requiring the cells of a living organism to reproduce. It cannot be transmitted through the air, but can be transmitted in different ways including unprotected sex with an infected partner; the sharing of drug needles; or from mother to child through pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. The test we use at HCCH looks for antibodies in the blood that are only present when a person has been infected with HIV.
Health Care Center for the Homeless
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Our Mission:"To provide quality health care services that improve the lives of the homeless and medically indigent people of our community."
Health Care Center for the Homeless ®“One Community, One Health Center”