hiv testing and treatment

HIV Testing in New York

Central Park Medical Associates offers private and confidential HIV testing in New York. HIV is also known as the human immunodeficiency virus and it is the virus that causes AIDS. The disease weakens the body’s ability to fight infections and is terminal. There are no known cures for HIV/AIDS at this time, however, medications can slow the pace at which the virus manifests itself and lessen its side effects.

HIV infections can take two different forms: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Most case of HIV in the United States are of the HIV-1 variety. AIDS, also known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is the most advanced version of HIV-1.

HIV is a sexually transmitted disease, but can also be transmitted through contaminated blood. Mothers are at risk for passing the disease to their children before, during or after birth. Almost half of all mothers who are carriers of HIV result in the baby receiving the disease.

Central Park Medical Associates offers the ELISA test in our certified in-house lab. We can have results ready in 15 minutes while you wait. Our New York HIV testing is private and confidential for your complete assurance. Our practice consists of a medical and dermatological practice so nobody will ever know the nature of your visit. We also offer in-room check-in/check-out procedures for maximum privacy.

Additionally, we employ highly professional, experienced and caring staff to answer your questions and make you feel comfortable. Please contact us today to schedule an HIV test in New York.

At Central Park Medical Associates we have you HIV results in 15 minutes while you wait in our private and discrete, state of the Art medical center. Our CLIA certified lab will give immediate results.

HIV

CDC estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the United States. One in five (21%) of those people living with HIV is unaware of their infection.

 
Despite increases in the total number of people living with HIV in the US in recent years, the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. However, new infections continue at far too high a level, with an estimated 56,300 Americans becoming infected with HIV each year.

More than 18,000 people with AIDS still die each year in the US.

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)† are strongly affected and represent the majority of persons who have died. Through 2007, more than 576,000 people with AIDS in the US have died since the epidemic began.

By Risk Group

 
Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM): By risk group, gay, bisexual, and other MSM of all races remain the population most severely affected by HIV.

 
MSM account for more than half (53%) of all new HIV infections in the U.S. each year, as well as nearly half (48%) of people living with HIV.

While CDC estimates that MSM account for just 4% of the US male population aged 13 and older, the rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM in the US is more than 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women.

 
White MSM account for the largest number of annual new HIV infections of any group in the US, followed closely by black MSM.

MSM is the only risk group in the U.S. in which new HIV infections have been increasing since the early 1990s.
Heterosexuals and Injection Drug Users: Heterosexuals and injection drug users also continue to be affected by HIV.
Individuals infected through heterosexual contact account for 31% of annual new HIV infections and 28% of people living with HIV.

As a group, women account for 27% of annual new HIV infections and 25% of those living with HIV.
Injection drug users represent 12% of annual new HIV infections and 19% of those living with HIV.

By Race/Ethnicity

African Americans: Among racial/ethnic groups, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV and AIDS in the nation.

 
While blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they account for almost half (46%) of people living with HIV in the US, as well as nearly half (45%) of new infections each year. HIV infections among blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s.

 
At some point in their life, approximately one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV, as will one in 30 black women.

The rate of new HIV infections for black men is about six times as high as that of white men, nearly three times that of Hispanic/Latino men, and more than twice that of black women.

 
The HIV incidence rate for black women is nearly 15 times as high as that of white women, and nearly four times that of Hispanic/Latino women.

 
Hispanics/Latinos: Hispanics/Latinos are also disproportionately impacted.

Hispanics/Latinos represent 15% of the population but account for an estimated 17% of people living with HIV and 17% of new infections. HIV infections among Hispanics/Latinos overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s.

 
The rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic/Latino men is more than double that of white men and the rate among Hispanic/Latino women is nearly four times that of white women.

 

What is HIV and how can I get it?

HIV – the human immunodeficiency virus – is a virus that kills your body’s “CD4 cells.” CD4 cells (also called T-helper cells) help your body fight off infection and disease. HIV can be passed from person to person if someone with HIV infection has sex with or shares drug injection needles with another person. It also can be passed from a mother to her baby when she is pregnant, when she delivers the baby, or if she breastfeeds her baby.

What is AIDS?

AIDS – the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome – is a disease you get when HIV destroys your body’s immune system. Normally, your immune system helps you fight off illness. When your immune system fails you can become very sick and can die.
What do I need to know about HIV?
The first cases of AIDS were identified in the United States in 1981, but AIDS most likely existed here and in other parts of the world for many years before that time. In 1984 scientists proved that HIV causes AIDS.
Anyone can get HIV. The most important thing to know is how you can get the virus.

You can get HIV:

•    By having unprotected sex- sex without a condom- with someone who has HIV. The virus can be in an infected person’s blood, semen, or vaginal secretions and can enter your body through tiny cuts or sores in your skin, or in the lining of your vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth.
•    By sharing a needle and syringe to inject drugs or sharing drug equipment used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV.
•    From a blood transfusion or blood clotting factor that you got before 1985. (But today it is unlikely you could get infected that way because all blood in the United States has been tested for HIV since 1985.)
Babies born to women with HIV also can become infected during pregnancy, birth, or breast-feeding.

You cannot get HIV:

•    By working with or being around someone who has HIV.
•    From sweat, spit, tears, clothes, drinking fountains, phones, toilet seats, or through everyday things like sharing a meal.
•    From insect bites or stings.
•    From donating blood.
•    From a closed-mouth kiss (but there is a very small chance of getting it from open-mouthed or “French” kissing with an infected person because of possible blood contact).

How can I protect myself?

•    Don’t share needles and syringes used to inject drugs, steroids, vitamins, or for tattooing or body piercing. Also, don’t share equipment (“works”) used to prepare drugs to be injected. Many people have been infected with HIV, hepatitis, and other germs this way. Germs from an infected person can stay in a needle and then be injected directly into the next person who uses the needle.

•    The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a longterm mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected.

•    For persons whose sexual behaviors place them at risk for STDs, correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of STD transmission. However, no protective method is 100 percent effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD. The more sex partners you have, the greater your chances are of getting HIV or other diseases passed through sex.

•    Condoms used with a lubricant are less likely to break. However, condoms with the spermicide nonoxynol-9 are not recommended for STD/HIV prevention. Condoms must be used correctly and consistently to be effective and protective. Incorrect use can lead to condom slippage or breakage, thus diminishing the protective effect. Inconsistent use, e.g., failure to use condoms with every act of intercourse, can result in STD transmission because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse.

•    Don’t share razors or toothbrushes because of they may have the blood of another person on them.

•    If you are pregnant or think you might be soon, talk to a doctor or your local health department about being tested for HIV. If you share HIV, drug treatments are available to help you and they can reduce the chance of passing HIV to your baby.
How do I know if I have HIV or AIDS?

You might have HIV and still feel perfectly healthy. The only way to know for sure if you are infected or not is to be tested. Talk with a knowledgeable health care provider or counselor both before and after you are tested. You can go to your doctor or health department for testing. To find out where to go in your area for HIV counseling and testing, call your local health department or the CDC INFO, at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).

Your doctor or health care provider can give you a confidential HIV test. The information on your HIV test and test results are confidential, as is your other medical information. This means it can be shared only with people authorized to see your medical records. You can ask your doctor, health care provider, or HIV counselor at the place you are tested to explain who can obtain this information. For example, you may want to ask whether your insurance company could find out your HIV status if you make a claim for health insurance benefits or apply for life insurance or disability insurance.

CDC recommends that everyone know their HIV status. How often you should an HIV test depends on your circumstances. If you have never been tested for HIV, you should be tested. CDC recommends being tested at least once a year if you do things that can transmit HIV infection, such as:

•    injecting drugs or steroids with used injection equipment
•    having sex for money or drugs
•    having sex with an HIV infected person
•    having more than one sex partner since your HIV test
•    having a sex partner who has had other sex partners since your last HIV test.

If you have been tested for HIV and the result is negative and you never do things that might transmit
In many states, you can be tested anonymously. These tests are usually given at special places known as anonymous testing sites. When you get an anonymous HIV test, the testing site records only a number or code with the test result, not your name. A counselor gives you this number at the time your blood, saliva, or urine is taken for the test, then you return to the testing site (or perhaps call the testing site, for example with home collection kits) and give them your number or code to learn the results of your test.
If you have been tested for HIV and the result is negative and you never do things that might transmit HIV infection, then you and your health care provider can decide whether you need to get tested again.

You are more likely to test positive for (be infected with) HIV if you:

•    Have ever shared injection drug needles and syringes or “works.”
•    Have ever had sex without a condom with someone who had HIV.
•    Have ever had a sexually transmitted disease, like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
•    Received a blood transfusion or a blood clotting factor between 1978 and 1985.
•    Have ever had sex with someone who has done any of those things

What can I do if the test shows I have HIV?

Although HIV is a very serious infection, many people with HIV and AIDS are living longer, healthier lives today, thanks to new and effective treatments. It is very important to make sure you have a doctor who knows how to treat HIV. If you don’t know which doctor to use, talk with a health care professional or trained HIV counselor. If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, this is especially important.
There also are other things you can do for yourself to stay healthy. Here are a few:

•    Follow your doctor’s instructions. Keep your appointments. Your doctor may prescribe medicine for you. Take the medicine just the way he or she tells you to because taking only some of your medicine gives your HIV infection more chance to grow.
•    Get immunizations (shots) to prevent infections such as pneumonia and flu. Your doctor will tell you when to get these shots.
•    If you smoke or if you use drugs not prescribed by your doctor, quit.
•    Eat healthy foods. This will help keep you strong, keep your energy and weight up, and help your body protect itself.
•    Exercise regularly to stay strong and fit.
•    Get enough sleep and rest.


HIVTesting

Central Park Medical Associates offer a rapid reagent Elisa Test in their CLIA certified laboratory which will give you results in about 15 minutes.

About HIV

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV/AIDS weakens a person’s ability to fight infections and cancer. HIV transmission can occur with unprotected sex or with needle sharing. Symptoms of HIV vary widely. A person may have HIV symptoms or AIDS symptoms without knowing it until they get HIV testing. There is no HIV cure at this time although medications can delay the onset of AIDS.
HIV infections may be caused by one of two retroviruses, HIV-1 or HIV-2. HIV-1 has caused a worldwide epidemic, but HIV-2 tends to be limited to West Africa.

HIV progressively destroys some types of white blood cells called CD4+ lymphocytes. Lymphocytes help defend the body against foreign cells, infectious organisms, and cancer. Thus, when HIV destroys CD4+ lymphocytes, people become susceptible to attack by many other infectious organisms. Many of the complications of HIV infection, including death, usually result from these other infections and not from HIV infection directly.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most severe form of HIV infection. HIV infection is considered to be AIDS when at least one serious complicating illness develops or the number (count) of CD4+ lymphocytes decreases substantially.
HIV-1 originated in West-Central Africa in the first half of the 20th century when a closely related chimpanzee virus first infected humans. The global spread of HIV-1 has been documented to have occurred in the 1970s, and AIDS was first recognized in 1981. In North America as of December 2007, about 1.3 million people had HIV infection, and about 46,000 to 56,000 new infections and 21,000 deaths occur each year. Worldwide, about 33.2 million people are estimated to be infected. There are about 2.5 million new infections and 2.1 million deaths each year. Most (95%) occur in developing countries. One half occurs in women, and one in seven occur in children under 15 years old. In parts of Africa, more than 30% of people between the ages of 15 and 45 are infected, threatening to dramatically reduce the life expectancy of a whole generation.

Transmission

HIV is transmitted in the following ways:

Sexual contact with an infected person, when the mucous membrane lining the mouth, vagina, penis, or rectum is exposed to contaminated body fluids (as occurs during unprotected sexual intercourse)
Injection or infusion of contaminated blood, as can occur with blood transfusions, the sharing of needles, or an accidental prick with an HIV-contaminated needle.

Transfer from an infected mother to a child before birth, during birth, or after birth through the mother’s milk
Susceptibility to HIV infection increases when the skin or a mucous membrane is torn or damaged—even minimally—as can happen during vigorous vaginal or anal sexual intercourse. Sexual transmission of HIV is more likely if either partner has herpes, syphilis, or another sexually transmitted disease (STD) that causes breaks in the skin or inflammation of the genitals. However, HIV can be transmitted even if neither partner has another STD or obvious breaks in the skin. HIV transmission can also occur during oral sex, although it is less common than during vaginal or anal intercourse.

In the United States, Europe, and Australia, HIV has mainly been transmitted through male homosexual contact and the sharing of needles among injecting drug users, but transmission through heterosexual contact has been rapidly increasing. HIV transmission in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia occurs primarily between heterosexuals, and HIV infection occurs equally among men and women. In the United States, about 30% of adults who have HIV infection are women. Before 1992, most American women with HIV were infected by injecting drugs with contaminated needles, but now most are infected through sexual contact.

A health care worker who is accidentally pricked with an HIV-contaminated needle has about a 1 in 300 chance of contracting HIV. The risk increases if the needle penetrates deeply or if the needle contains HIV-contaminated blood (as with a needle used to draw blood) rather than simply being coated with blood (as with a needle used to inject a drug or stitch a cut). Infected fluid splashing into the mouth or eyes has less than a 1 in 1,000 chance of causing infection. Taking a combination of antiretroviral drugs as soon after exposure as possible appears to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of becoming infected from an accident in a health care setting and is recommended.
People with hemophilia used to require frequent infusions of whole blood or other blood products, and many became infected because the blood products they received were contaminated with HIV. AIDS became the leading cause of death among these people. However, since 1985 in most developed countries, all blood collected for transfusion is tested for HIV, and when possible, some blood products are treated with heat to eliminate the risk of HIV infection. The current risk of HIV infection from a single blood transfusion (which is carefully screened for HIV and other blood borne viruses in most developed countries) is estimated to be less than 1 in 600,000.

Mothers and Children: HIV infection in a large number of women of childbearing age has led to an increase in HIV infection among. In about 30 to 50% of pregnancies involving women infected with HIV who are not treated, HIV is transmitted to the fetus through the placenta or at birth during passage through the birth canal. Infants also can contract HIV through breast milk. The risk from breastfeeding depends on the duration of breastfeeding but may be as high as 75%.

Drug treatment of infected pregnant women during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy along with drugs given by vein during delivery can reduce the risk of transmission by about two thirds or more. Delivery by cesarean section and treating the mother at delivery and the baby for several weeks after birth with drugs also reduce the risk. Infected mothers should not breastfeed if they live in countries where formula feeding is safe and affordable. However, in countries where infectious diseases and malnutrition are common causes of infant mortality, and safe, affordable infant formula is not available, the World Health Organization recommends that mothers breastfeed. In such cases, the protection from potentially fatal infections afforded by breastfeeding may counterbalance the risk of HIV transmission.

Prevention

Transmission of HIV through its most common routes—sexual contact or sharing of needles—is almost completely preventable. However, the measures required for prevention—sexual abstinence or condom use (see Sexually Transmitted Diseases: How to Use a Condom ) and access to clean needles—are sometimes personally or socially unpopular. Many people have difficulty changing their addictive or sexual behaviors, so they continue to put themselves at risk of HIV infection. Also, safe sex practices are not foolproof. For example, condoms can leak or break.

Vaccines for preventing HIV infection or slowing the progression of AIDS in people who are already infected have so far been elusive. Research continues, but in recent clinical trials, several promising vaccines have not proved useful.
Other measures can help. Circumcision of men, an inexpensive, safe procedure, appears to reduce the risk of infection by about half.
Because HIV is not transmitted through the air or by casual contact (such as touching, holding, or dry kissing), hospitals and clinics do not isolate HIV-infected people unless they have another contagious infection. Surfaces contaminated with HIV can easily be cleaned and disinfected because HIV is inactivated by heat and by common disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. People who are likely to come into contact with blood or other body fluids at their job should wear protective latex gloves, masks, and eye shields. These universal precautions apply to body fluids from all people, not just those from people with HIV, for two reasons: People with HIV may not know that they are infected, and other viruses can be transmitted by body fluids.

People who have been exposed to HIV from a blood splash, needlestick, or sexual contact may reduce the chance of infection by taking anti-HIV drugs (antiretroviral drugs) for a short time. These drugs must be started as soon as possible after the exposure. Taking two or three drugs for 4 weeks is currently recommended. Because the risk of infection varies, doctors and infected people make decisions about preventive treatment individually based on the type of exposure.

 

How can I find out more about HIV and AIDS?

You can call CDC-INFO at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636); TTY access 1-888-232-6348. CDC-INFO is staffed with people trained to answer your questions about HIV and AIDS in a prompt and confidential manner in English or Spanish, 24 hours per day. Staff at CDC-INFO can offer you a wide variety of written materials and put you in touch with organizations in your area that deal with HIV and AIDS.
On the Internet, you can get information on HIV and AIDS from www.AIDS.gov or www.cdc.gov/hiv