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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How is HIV transmitted?
What is the best way to avoid HIV infection?
What symptoms do people experience when they are first infected with HIV?
Are you automatically infected if you are exposed to HIV?
Is there a cure for AIDS?
Is there a vaccine to prevent HIV infection?
How long does it take for HIV to show up in a blood test after initial infection?
How can I find out if I have HIV?
Where is Outreach Community Care Network located?
I need to talk to someone NOW! Who can I call?
 

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Q: How is HIV transmitted?

A: HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is primarily a sexually transmitted disease. It can be passed in the following ways:

  • during sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral);
  • by sharing needles;
  • from mother to infant; or
  • rarely through blood transfusions (blood is tested for HIV and other STDs before being put into the blood supply.

HIV is NOT transmitted through casual contact like living or working with an infected person.

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Q: What is the best way to avoid HIV infection?

A: The only weapon we have against HIV at this time is responsible behavior based on fact. HIV is passed through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and infants can be infected from breast milk if the mother has HIV. Cleaning IV drug needles with bleach and thoroughly rinsing with fresh water and using latex condoms with a water based lubricant greatly reduces the risk of HIV infection.

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Q: What symptoms do people experience when they are first infected with HIV?

A: Most people experience NO symptoms at all from their initial infection. Some people may come down with very common flu-like symptoms, but they are virtually indistinguishable from a regular flu. It takes an average of 5 to 10 years after infection for most people to develop symptoms. People with HIV who use drugs and/or alcohol or are otherwise unhealthy (poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep) may accelerate the disease process.

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Q: Are you automatically infected if you are exposed to HIV?

A: NO. Although you can be infected from one exposure to HIV, it depends on HOW you are exposed, how healthy you are at the time, and how much virus the infected person has in their system. Drugs and Alcohol significantly increase the chance of being infected if you are exposed.

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Q: Is there a cure for AIDS?

A: NO! Remember, AIDS is a result of HIV infection. In recent years medical advances have produced drug therapies that greatly extend the lives and improve the quality of life for people with HIV, however there are many side affects and drawbacks to the drugs.

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Q: Is there a vaccine to prevent HIV infection?

A: NO! There are many vaccines now in clinical study, however at this time, none have been tested on humans and it may be years before a viable vaccine is possible.

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Q: How long does it take for HIV to show up in a blood test after initial infection?

A: Up to 6 months. If there has been NO risk for 6 months prior to the test, the results are 99.9% accurate. People with HIV may be MOST infectious to others during this first six months.

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Q: How can I find out if I have HIV?

A: The only way to know for sure is to have an HIV test. Tests are completely confidential, can be offered at no charge for those who don’t have the money, and can be offered to anyone 12 years of age or older without parental consent. You must be offered pre- and post-test counseling and you must return in person for the results of the test.

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Q: Where is Outreach Community Care Network located?

A: Outreach is at 240 N. Frederick Ave., Daytona Beach, Suite B. It is just north of International Speedway Blvd. on Frederick Ave., which is one block west of Nova Road. Suite B is the main reception area, and includes case management services. Suite D is for prevention & education, and administration offices. HIV counseling and testing, plus additional case management are located in Suite E. Outreach offers HIV testing, counseling, support groups, education, and case management.  Click here for hours and contact numbers.

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Q: I need to talk to someone NOW! Who can I call?

A: 24 hour CDC AIDS Hotline: 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

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