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Frequently Asked Questions About HIV/AIDS

What is HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Only people who have HIV get AIDS. A virus is a kind of germ that can make you sick. Some can give you a cold. Others can give you the chicken pox, the flu, or a cold sore.

What hours are HIV testing done?

Testing is done for free on a walk-in, first come first serve basis:
  • Monday: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Do you conduct anonymous HIV testing?

Yes at all clinic locations.  Walk-in testing services are available at the hours listed above.

What is CD4?

CD4 refers to a kind of cell in the blood. Your body is made up of many different kinds of cells. Each cell has its own job to do. CD4 cells help keep you healthy. They protect you from some germs.

How does HIV effect you?

HIV attacks and kills CD4 cells, which make it easier for germs to attack the body and make you sick. The higher HIV level you have in your body, the greater chance you have of getting sick.

How does your body fight HIV?

HIV kills CD4 cells and your body fights back making more CD4 cells. This starts as soon as the virus gets into your body. Even when you are feeling fine, HIV is attacking CD4 cells. When the number of CD4 cells go down too much, your body can’t protect itself. You then increase your risk of becoming sick through exposure to other germs.

How do doctors keep track of HIV?

Doctors and health care professionals can measure how many CD4 cells are in the blood. This is called a CD4 count. Doctors can also measure how much HIV is in the blood. This is called "Viral Load." These numbers can help the doctor figure out how to care for you.

What is a CD4 Count?

Tells how many CD4 cells are in your blood.  It is the primary host cell infected by HIV.  Also known as T-helper or T4 lymphocyte.  A higher count means a stronger immune system.  The number of CD4 cells can indicate the stage of HIV infection in a person.

What is a Viral Load?

A measure of HIV infected cells in your circulating blood.  People with a higher viral load tend to progress to AIDS.  Viral load is also used for therapeutic monitoring.