HIV TESTING

IT's better to know
free + Confidential

If you are interested in scheduling a time to pick up an in-home HIV testing kit,

or receive an in-person HIV test at our Boulder office walk-up window, please CLICK HERE.
 

For Prevention questions and scheduling, feel welcome to call 303-444-6121 ext. 108

and leave a message including your name, phone number, and what you're needing.

A Prevention staff member will contact you within 1-2 business days.

get tested

wE encourage you to get tested if:  

  • You’ve never been tested and you’re sexually active.

  • You’re sexually active and it’s been one year since your last HIV test.

  • You’ve had sex without a condom since your last HIV test.

  • You’ve had a condom break during sexual activity since your last HIV test. 

  • You’ve shared needles or works.

 

Whether your test is negative or positive, we are here for you.

 

Questions? 

Contact us directly at (303) 444-6121 or via email.

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When should I get tested?


Window period: When testing for HIV, keep in mind that most rapid tests are looking for HIV antibodies – not the virus itself. When the body is exposed to a virus such as HIV, the immune system initiates a response to fight the infection. Antibodies are part of the fight and are released into the bloodstream. There is a “window period” that exists between the time an infection enters your body and when your immune system reacts to the infection via an antibody response. The window period for HIV antibodies is 3 months. However, many people may produce HIV antibodies before 3 months upon exposure, though each individual is different. In other words, when getting tested for HIV, think about the last possible exposure you experienced. If this occurrence was within the last 3 months, the test may or may not be accurate, as your body may not have yet produced enough HIV antibodies to be detected by the testing device. Therefore, you should retest 3 months after your last potential exposure. If you engage in any behaviors that potentially expose you to HIV during the window period, it may cause your follow-up testing sessions to be inaccurate.




What can I expect during a testing session?


BCAP uses Uni-Gold is an HIV antibody test. It requires only a small collection of blood through a finger prick to detect HIV antibodies. This technology checks for HIV antibodies, not the actual virus. Uni-Gold provides an accurate test result in just 10 minutes. A trained test counselor will prick your finger and collect a blood sample with a small pipette. The blood sample is then transferred to a pad where it is mixed with developing solution. During the testing and counseling session, you will have the opportunity to discuss HIV, get your questions answered, and receive referrals for other services related to your health.




What about confidentiality and privacy?


In the testing session, you can decide how you want to be identified while testing: either anonymously or confidentially. Anonymous testing means that you do not need to give your name, address, or other contact information to the counselor. You are assigned a code of letters and numbers, and your test result is identified by this code only. When testing anonymously, you will not be able to receive a copy of your test result. Confidential testing, on the other hand, requires you to provide your name, address, email, and phone number to the counselor. If you are tested through your doctor, the results will be included in your medical record. Agencies providing HIV testing and counseling operate under strict confidentiality laws regarding testing records. No one, including friends, partners, family, employers or insurance companies, can access your records without your permission.




Where can I get tested?


BCAP partners with Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) to provide free, anonymous and confidential HIV testing and risk reduction counseling. Walk-ins are always welcome at off-site testing locations and events. (See our drop-in Calendar for dates and locations.) Each session includes a rapid HIV test, information, and support to help you stay healthy. Click on the button below to schedule a free, confidential or anonymous HIV test at BCAP, or visit one of our local partners:
Boulder County AIDS Project 2118 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.444.6121
Boulder County AIDS Project 515 Kimbark Street, Suite 100
Longmont, CO 80501
303.774.8827
(by request only)
Boulder County Public Health 3450 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304
303.413.7500
– $38 sliding scale
– anonymous & confidential
Boulder County Public Health 515 Coffman Street
Longmont, CO 80501
303.678.6166
– $38 sliding scale
– anonymous & confidential
Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center 2855 Valmont Rd
Boulder, CO 80301
303.442.5160
– free to teens only
– confidential only
Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center 82 21st Avenue
Longmont, CO 80501
303.442.5160
– free to teens only
– confidential only
Planned Parenthood 2525 Arapahoe Suite C-200
Boulder, CO 80302
303.447.1040
– $74, confidential only




What testing technology does BCAP use?


  • For rapid HIV testing, BCAP uses the Alere Determine™ HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo test. You can find more information about the Alere testing technology here.
  • For rapid HCV testing, BCAP uses the OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody test. You can find more information about the OraQuick® testing technology here.




My HIV test came back Reactive. What does that mean?


Rapid HIV antibody tests are highly accurate. A reactive HIV antibody test means that the test administered to you likely identified HIV antibodies in your blood.

To confirm a reactive test result, you will need to access confirmatory testing as soon as possible.

While waiting for your confirmatory test results, make sure you take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Avoid surfing the internet for answers until your HIV status is confirmed. It is easy to psych yourself out with inaccurate information from websites, which could be mentally harmful during this time.

For more information or support, call or email Carli Dean or Garrett Rose at 303.444.6121 and carli@bcap.org or garrett@bcap.org.




What type of HIV testing is available?


HIV antibody testing is the most common and accessible form of HIV testing, and is most likely to be available at reduced fees or free. Rapid HIV antibody testing, such as Alere, usually takes about 20 minutes. These tests use a small sample of blood and are conducted with the client present. Please visit our HIV Testing page for further details.

ELISA and Western Blot tests are used for confirmatory testing. An ELISA test is highly sensitive to any recent antibody activity. A Western Blot test looks specifically for HIV antibodies. The ELISA/Western Blot combination is more costly due to the additional procedures needed to run the tests. A blood draw is required and it usually takes 3-10 days to receive results. In order for a serum sample to be confirmed HIV-positive, it must receive a positive ELISA test and a positive Western Blot test.

Viral load testing actually tests for the virus itself, not HIV antibodies. This type of testing commonly is used on people living with HIV to monitor the progression of the virus. This type of testing is costly and is not used to diagnose HIV.

Additionally, the FDA has approved 2 at-home HIV testing kits, which can be purchased for $45-$60 at local pharmacies. While HIV testing can come with a host of personal and social stigmatization, BCAP does not recommend home testing due to the value of in-person counseling. Receiving a reactive test result should not be done without the support of a trained counselor to help you handle questions, emotions, and what can be done next.