HIV infection is a communicable disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which damages the body’s immune system, the system that fights infections. Without the immune system’s protection, the body is defenseless against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
Manitowoc County Health Department provides both confidential HIV and Hepatitis C blood tests and referrals by appointments only. Call the health department at 920-683-4155 for more information.
Who should be tested for HIV?
The following are behaviors that increase your chances of getting HIV. If you answer yes to any of them, you should definitely get an HIV test. If you continue with any of these behaviors, you should be tested every year. Talk to a health care provider about an HIV testing schedule that is right for you.
- Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared injection equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?
- Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia?
- Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?
Why Get Tested?
1. If you test positive, there are treatments that will help keep you healthier longer. Treatment is available even if you don't have health insurance.
2. If you know you have the virus, you can protect your sex or needle-sharing partners.
3. A woman thinking about having a baby needs to know if she has the virus since she could give it to her baby. A pregnant woman with HIV can take medicine that will help protect the baby from HIV.