Wondering what your HIV status is and want to know it in a matter of minutes?
Then you can just go for the rapid HIV test.
N.C. Central University will be offering the HIV rapid test in the Alfonso Elder Student Union Building Thursday.
The rapid test involves an oral test where a pad is swabbed on the gums to test the cells and not the saliva. The swab picks up cells from the gums. There will be no needle sticking or blood drawing. Results from the rapid test will be given in 20 minutes.
“It’s not a saliva test and you cannot get HIV from saliva, said David Jolly, NCCU assistant professor in the health education department.
A conventional HIV test requires an entire vial of blood and takes up to two weeks to get results.
Jolly said there will be no statistics from the NCCU student results.
He said the event is a service to the students to help them know their status.
Jolly said trained counselors and technicians will be performing the confidential test.
Project STYLE, a collaborative initiative of the UNC School of Medicine, NCCU, and the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina, is funding the NCCU HIV Rapid test.
The program started in response to data indicating a growing number of HIV cases among college students across North Carolina. In an effort to help more students learn their HIV status, Project STYLE will be coordinating HIV testing events at colleges across the state, including St. Augustine’s University, UNC Chapel Hill and N.C. State University.
Armed with the knowledge of the results, students will be able to get counseling and medical care quickly.
“Knowing your status allows you to make informed decisions regarding your future and your life,” said Tanya Bass, NCCU public health educator.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40,000 Americans per year become infected with HIV.
Among those who get tested, 30 percent do not return for results that are typically available a few weeks after the test is done.
At least 8,000 of those people who do not return test positive and do not find out they are infected.