HIV

Causes Risk Factors Symptoms YourTown Health Primary Care HIV Prevention Program Resources

HIV, which stands for “human immunodeficiency virus,” attacks the cells that fight against infection. In other words, attacking the immune system and making a person more vulnerable to infections and diseases. If not treated, HIV can cause AIDS (“acquired immunodeficiency syndrome”). According to HIV.gov, approximately 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV, and around 13% are unaware of their HIV-positive status.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 gets tested for HIV at least once and high-risk individuals at least once a year.

Causes

Most commonly, HIV is transmitted through body fluids, such as when someone has unprotected sex or shares injection drug equipment.

Risk Factors

Anyone—regardless of their age, race, sex, or sexual orientation—can become infected with HIV/AIDS.

However, those considered “high-risk” include men who have sex with men (MSM); intravenous drug users (IDU); individuals who have had more than one sex partner since their last HIV test or have had sex with a partner who is HIV positive; individuals who have been diagnosed with another sexually transmitted disease (STD); and individuals who have been diagnosed with hepatitis and tuberculosis.

Symptoms

Many people have reported flu-like symptoms within 2-4 weeks after infection. This can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweat
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Mouth ulcers

However, these symptoms do not necessarily indicate HIV. Many other illnesses—including the common cold—can cause these same symptoms. For this reason, health experts recommend getting tested to confirm your HIV status.

YourTown Health Primary Care HIV Prevention Program

At YourTown Health, we are committed to meeting patients where they are. We not only believe in affordable services, but quality and compassionate care throughout a patient’s healthcare journey. In addition to continued HIV testing at several office locations, our Primary Care HIV Prevention Program offers HIV services at reduced costs using the Sliding Fee Scale.

Receive Care with Confidentiality

Since YourTown Health is a provider of many healthcare services to the community at large, patients can be confident that visiting one of our office locations provides a greater sense of anonymity when accessing HIV care.

YourTown Health’s onsite team-based care of certified and trained specialists provide HIV prevention education, reduction counseling, and PrEP and PEP access through care coordination, patient navigation, and health education. Each patient will receive direct support from our multispecialty care team. In conjunction with our Primary Care HIV Prevention Program, we offer:

  • HIV testing at our Coweta and Fulton County locations (Palmetto, Palmetto QuickCare, and Senoia offices).
  • Opt-out HIV screenings at all YourTown Health locations and clinics. Per this protocol, HIV and STD risk screenings are available for all medical visits, at reduced costs.  
  • Free at-home HIV tests available for pickup at our Palmetto and Senoia office locations. No appointment necessary.
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) preventative medications at reduced costs to those without prescription drug insurance coverage. Available through the YourTown Health Pharmacy.
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) medications at reduced costs to those without prescription drug insurance coverage. Available through the YourTown Health Pharmacy.

If Tested Positive for HIV

In the event of receiving a preliminary positive result to a HIV test, YourTown Health’s care team will complete a confirmatory (Western Blot assay) to confirm a patient’s HIV status.

In the event that a positive test was documented in an offsite setting, YourTown Health’s care team is available to discuss treatment plan options. The patient will be contacted directly by a representative at YourTown Health within 24-48 hours after test pick-up.

If Tested Negative for HIV

In the event of receiving a negative test result, YourTown Health provides HIV prevention counseling to all individuals. This counseling will include a personalized risk assessment aimed at identifying specific behaviors that place the individual at risk for acquiring HIV. PrEP medications will also be prescribed as clinically indicated. The patient will be contacted directly by a representative at YourTown Health within 24-48 hours after test pick-up.

Resources