What are the HIV and STD infections?
The detection of the HIV is a very complex, long and expensive procedure. That is why the express-diagnostics to the HIV-antibodies of commonly used worldwide for the HIV detection. There are a few types of tests. The main ones are the express-tests that can be used in the field-conditions and to find out the result within 10-15 minutes. The other common test is IFA Immune-fermentive analylis and other tests- are made in regular hospitals and it would take 3 to 4 days to for the result to be ready (in case of HIV) and longer (in case of STD infections). The Foundation “Way Home” is providing HIV/AIDS and STD express-tests for the injecting drugs users in the city centers and in frames of the outreach work “in the fields”.
The addresses of the express-testing points can be found out by calling on: (0482) 31-54-11.
HIV/AIDS and STD express-tests are free and anonymous (no passport data is needed). Before or after the testing one can receive the professional counseling of the specialist, who would friendly describe the ways of the diseases transmission and will answer any questions regarding the issues of the injecting and sexual behavior. If the one is willing to make a blood test, the result will be known within 10-15 minutes. The validity of the test result is 99,6%. The specialist has no right to open any information that was given to him from the recipient and also to uncover the result of the test. Ukrainian legislature is marking the criminal responsibility for the breach of confidence of the diagnosis.
What the result of the HIV test means?
If the HIV test result is negative, it means that there are no HIV antibodies in one’s blood. If in the last 3-6 months you were not exposed to the risk of getting infected by the HIV, you can be sure that you are healthy. If you had unsafe sex or other risk situation, you should repeat the test within 3-6 month – this is the gap period, during which HIV is producing its antibodies. That is why the test can show negative result but you may still be infected. If the test result is positive, you have HIV antibodies in the blood. Their presence can come from HIV infection as well as the presence of some other chronic infections or tumors (in the case of other diseases the result of the test is considered as the false-positive). In order to exclude the possible mistake in a diagnosis, it is necessary to go through the additional test in the city AIDS-center. Only after the final test the doctor can come with the final diagnosis of “HIV infection”. In this case the doctor will subscribe the necessary treatment that will significantly increase your health and prolong your life – the antiviral therapy
The HIV treatment in Ukraine is free of charge.
It is important to remember that the treatment is not subscribed immediately: its needed to detect the amount of CD4 cells in the body – that will quantitively show how much one’s immune system has suffered. The antiviral therapy is subscribed when its level is critically low. Also it is needed to go through the virus-load test that indicated how active is the virus in the body.
The positive result of the express-test does NOT mean that:
You have AIDS;
You will nessesary have AIDS (the majority of HIV-positive people live long life feeling quite healthy);
You will have to consume a lot of medications.
The presence of the HIV infection does not at all mean that your life has finished. Following a special lifestyle, taking care about your health and receiving certain medications, you can live a long and wholesome life. Often we create different reasons to postpone the testing, proving ourselves that it is more peaceful not to know the truth. This is a mistake similar to the behavior of the ostrich, which digs his head in a send while meeting with danger. According to the official records of the Ukrainian Center for the control of the socially dangerous diseases, 127 000 persons were HIV positive in the country by the end of 2015. While according to the international experts, the number is twice as big – because he majority of the infected do not know about their disease. There are many reasons for this situation, and the main one is stigmatization of the HIV/AIDS disease. We are so far from the obligatory systematic testing of the population (at least once on half a year). Specialists say that the person may know his positive status accidentally, for example by making test before the surgery or at the social events when the express-test is being openly provided on the streets of the city. The Foundation “Way Home”, just as the other social organizations, cannot cover by its services the whole of population of the country that is why it is focusing its HIV-prevention services among the groups of risk, primarily on the injected-drugs dependants.
In 2015 the specialists of the Foundation have changed the usual HIV-testing on self-testing. Specialist Tatyana Korjan explains that this change made the procedure very convenient for the specialists of the center as well as for the clients: “The social worker explains how to make the test correct and under their supervision the client is testing oneself. The client chooses the convenient time and the social worker can easily consult him whenever the client has time. While the medical worker has working hours open for testing which may not be convenient for the client”. Also the decision to switch to the self-testing makes it possible to provide the service outside the community center and even outside the mobile station of the syringe exchange. Now social workers are joining the outreach workers, who already know their clients and make self-tests in the fields in the time, convenient for the client.
If the test is positive the task of the social worker is to give the qualitative counseling and to forward the client t the case-manager, who will keep supporting the client on in the medical institution. Also, if the test is positive, two other laboratory tests will have to be done and only then the doctor will mark the final diagnosis.