STD Testing. Everyone's invited!

Everyone is affected. Knowing your status gives you options.

STDs have been around for hundreds of years. The only shame in having an STD is not knowing the facts about what you have and not seeking care for your health. Knowing your health status helps you make informed decisions. People who test positive for an STD can get life-saving treatment and better protect themselves and their sexual partners. Get the facts and take action.





What Is My Risk?

Have you had sex without using a condom?
If you don’t use a condom correctly, every time you have sex, you may be at risk and should get an HIV test.

Have you shared injection equipment with anyone? (Needles, syringes, cotton, cooker, water)
HIV lives in the blood. Sharing works is high-risk.

Does your partner have sex or share needles with anyone else?
Even if you're certain, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.

Have you had any other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or have any symptoms you are worried about?
If you have one you could be at risk for others.

If you are pregnant, have you had an HIV test?
A pregnant woman can pass HIV to her unborn baby. Medicine and care can help prevent this from happening. If you are pregnant ask your doctor for an HIV test to protect your baby.

If you do not know for sure the HIV status of your sex or needle-sharing partners, or do not know your own status you could be at risk for giving or getting HIV. The only way to be sure of your status is to get tested.



How Is Testing Done?

Confidential vs. Anonymous -   What’s the difference?  A confidential test means your information and results are protected by law from unauthorized disclosure. This would be a test that you have at your health care provider’s office.  Your name is attached to the test, and there is a medical record that records your test result.  As with any other medical record the information is carefully protected. 

An anonymous test means just that.  You do not have to give your name and your test results are connected to you by a unique identifier code.  

HIV is a reportable illness.  Health care providers are required by law to report all positive HIV test results to the Vermont Department of Health by name.  A confidential test would be reported by name. Positive anonymous test results cannot be reported.  The health department strictly protects the information and uses it only for health planning purposes.  

Talk to your health care provider about which test is right for you. 

  • You can go to your health care provider and request an HIV test. He/she will order a confidential blood test. It can be billed to your health insurance just like any other laboratory test.
  • Under the anonymous test system simple oral tests are done by trained counselors at many different sites. (No blood draw – no needles!) There are 2 types of oral HIV tests:
  • Oraquick (Rapid Test) is a screening test for HIV which takes about 20 minutes. It can tell you if you are negative or if you need more testing for HIV.
  • Orasure (Traditional Test) is an oral swab that confirms an HIV diagnosis. Results take about 2 weeks but no further testing is needed.
  • Some pharmacies sell home HIV testing kits which could be another option for testing.

No matter which test you have, trained counselors can help you understand your test results and decide on next steps.


What if I test negative?

If your HIV test is negative that's great, but your work isn't done.
We want you to stay that way and help you learn how best to protect yourself. Educate yourself about STD prevention. It’s not always easy to practice safer sex; sometimes drugs or alcohol can blur our judgment; sometimes it is all too hard to talk about. Prevention resources are available around the state at any testing location.

Get yourself some support. Your health care provider, AIDS service organizations, drug treatment programs, teen or gay and lesbian (GBLTQQ) support organizations would all be happy to talk to you about HIV and STD prevention and provide prevention services. For some people STDs will continue to be a risk in their lives. By making testing a regular part of your health care, you can cure certain STDs before they do serious damage. And caught early enough, HIV can be managed so you can live a full life. Get tested regularly...It may save your life. Locate your nearest testing resource now.

VT Dept of Health STD Testing Resource Guide


What if I test negative?

Vermont CARES, a Vermont leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, offers an innovatibe HIV testing option for male couples. Caremont

Testing Together offers male couples a chance to discuss HIV risk openly and honestly with a trained HIV Testing Together counselor. Instead of focusing on past risk, couples can focus on future risks they'll share, and ways they can keep each other safe jointly. Couples receive HIV test results together. This lets you discuss results with someone who can be a best support for you, and who can work with you to keep you both healthy moving forward.

View more information at Vermont CARES' website


What if I test negative?

The presence of Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia can be confirmed by a simple lab test: Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are tested by urine sample or a swab while syphilis is tested with a blood test.

To make sure you get the best STD test for yourself, it is very important to let your health provider know if you may have been exposed by anal or oral sex.

There is no anonymous (no name is given with the test) testing for these STDs in Vermont. Your regular health provider can perform a confidential test. If positive he/she can order treatment and your insurance will be billed. The Vermont Department of Health funds STD testing in Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the state so be sure to ask if you qualify for a free test.

If you test positive for any of these STDs it is important for all of your sex partners to know they may be infected also. A Health Department STD worker can help you inform your partners if you are interested.



Were Can I Get Care?

If you do not have HIV your health care provider can treat your STD.  The Vermont Department of Health funds free STD testing and treatment through the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England clinics.  Call the clinic nearest you.

There are many resources in Vermont to help people with HIV get health care. Specialty HIV clinics can offer an initial visit and laboratory evaluation for free. No one is turned away and social workers are available to help you find what you need. There are laws that protect your health insurance, your job, your confidentiality and medical records. You can speak to a social worker anonymously if you are concerned about these things. Early diagnosis of HIV means you can be monitored and treated before you ever get sick. For many people one pill, once a day, is effective in managing HIV infection. Call the UVM Medical Center 's Comprehensive Care Clinic at 800.358.1144 to learn what you can do to protect your health.








The UVM Medical Center Comprehensive Care Clinics are a 4-clinic system providing state-of-the-art treatment for STDs and all stages of HIV/AIDS. We provide anonymous testing and all services are confidential.

Brattleboro
802.257.8860
Burlington
802.847.4594
Rutland
802.747.1830
St. Johnsbury
802.751.7603
Or call
800.358.1144

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Infectious Disease Program
603.650.8840 or 603.650.6060
Serving Southern Vermont, Connecticut River Valley and New Hampshire


Vermont CARES logo

Burlington
800.649.2437
Rutland
802.775.5884
St. Johnsbury
802.748.9061


In addition, you can also get guidance and assistance by contacting:

Vermont HIV/AIDS Hotline
800.882.2437
 
 
Bennington
802 447.8007
Brattleboro
802.254.4444
 
RU12
802.860.7812
Outright Vermont
802.865.9677
ACORN
603.448.8887