HIV Testing

HIV Testing

Getting tested for HIV can be anxiety inducing.  To take control over your sexual health and, yes, have better sex – it is important to get tested regularly for HIV and STI’s.

I think I was exposed to HIV – What should I do?

  • If you think you were exposed to HIV through unprotected sex or sharing needles, AND it was within 72 hours, please seek out an Emergency Room to get PEP.  PEP is a post-exposure treatment that has a high rate of preventing HIV infection, but only works if you start taking it within 72 hours of exposure.
  • If the exposure was longer than 72 hours ago, it is important to get tested for HIV and other STI’s – and you need to return to get tested during the window period (described below).

What happens when I get tested?

  • There are different kinds of tests – the most common are the oral swab and finger prick tests.
  • The tester will have a conversation with you about informed consent, your sexual history, and how the test works.  They are there to help you, so feel free to ask questions!

What if I test negative or non-reactive?  What is the window period?

  • The most common HIV tests look for antibodies in the blood – but these might not be present or read on the tests for up to 3 months.  The window period is the time between a possible exposure and when HIV will most likely be detectable in the blood.
    • Ask your tester how long the window period is for the test you are taking – there are so many kinds!
  • Because of this, it is possible to test negative or non-reactive for HIV and actually have an HIV infection. Talk to your provider on if you should get retested at the end of the window period for your test.Window Period

Where do I go?

  • Community Access Services
  • MOCHA Center – (716) 852-1142
    • 1092 Main St Buffalo, NY 14209
    • Monday through Thursday 12pm-7pm
    • Friday 9am-4pm
    • HIV Testing Only / Appointments and Walk-in
  • Evergreen Health Services
    • Buffalo Hours:  
      • Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 3:30pm
      • Tuesdays (extended hours): 8:30am – 6:00pm
      • Phone: (716) 541-0681
      • STI testing, Rapid HIV, Rapid Hep C / Walk-in only
    • Pride Center Hours – (716) 852-7743
      • Mon/Wed/Fri: 9:30am – 11:30am and 1:30 – 4:00pm
      • Tuesdays: 12:30 – 7:00pm   Thursdays: 12:30 – 4:00pm
      • HIV Testing Only / Walk-in only
    • Community Access Services – (716) 852-5969
      • Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 11:00am, 1:00pm – 3:30pm
      • Tuesdays (extended hours): 9:00am – 2:30pm, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
      • HIV and Hepatitis C Testing Only / Walk-in only
    • Jamestown Hours – (716) 541-0678
      • Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 3:30pm
      • HIV and Hepatitis C Testing Only / Appointment needed
  • Erie County Department of Health – (716) 858-7687
    • 95 Franklin Street Buffalo, New York 14202
  • Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York – (866) 600-6886
    • Use the call center number to make an appointment – many offices listed below
    • Buffalo – 2697 Main St (Across from Amherst St Station)
    • North Tonawanda – 15 Webster Street
    • West Seneca – Wimbledon Plaza 240 Center Road
    • Niagara Falls – 750 Portage Road
    • Batavia – 222 W Main Street
    • HIV Testing, STI Testing, Health Center / Appointment needed
  • Erie County Medical Center – (716) 898-4119
  • Community Health Center – (716) 986-9199
    • Buffalo – 34 Benwood Avenue Buffalo NY 14214
    • Cheektowaga – 934 Cleveland Drive Cheektowaga NY 14225
    • Lockport – 38 Heritage Court Lockport NY 14094
    • Niagara Falls – 2715 Highland Avenue Niagara Falls NY 14305
  • Kaleida Youth Link Program – (716) 768-7572
    • 1050 Niagara Street Buffalo, NY 14213
    • We provide services to people 13-24 years old for HIV testing, HIV primary care, STI testing and treatment, HEP C testing, family planning. and PrEP/PEP

For more resources, check out 211WNY! or check out HOPE Buffalo’s Youth-Friendly Services Guide!

What happens if I test positive or reactive?

  • The tester may have you do a confirmatory test – just to make sure the first test was accurate.  This one might take a few days.
    • Sometimes, a rapid test is wrong.  Talk about your concerns with the tester.
  • The tester will give you plenty of information and is there to answer all your questions.
  • There is also Partner Services, a free and confidential New York State service to help you get medical care and answer questions.
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