CANAPI works diligently to stop the spread of HIV through identification of infections, educational resources, referrals and community advocacy.
Before you test, ask yourself these questions:
When was my last potential exposure?
If your last exposure was within the last month, a rapid test may not be the test for you. For more information on other testing options, please give us a call.
If your last exposure was in the last 24-72 hours, and you have reason to believe you were exposed to HIV,
What are my risk factors?
Remember, HIV can only be spread through contact with infected semen, vaginal fluid, rectal fluid, blood, or breast milk. HIV cannot live on surfaces, so contact has to be within the body for transmission to occur. If none of these are risk factors, there is no need to test for HIV at this time.
When was the last time I was tested?
If you have already been tested within the last month, and you were not advised to come in for a retest, then there is no need to test for HIV at this time.
What to Expect: Testing & Risk Reduction Counseling
CANAPI conducts free HIV testing, counseling, and referral services to individuals at a heightened risk of infection.
Hours and Appointments
We have walk-in testing hours every Thursday evening from 5pm-8pm
We also have testing available by appointment Monday - Thursday.
Be sure to check our calendar for testing dates and locations.
For FAQ's, see below.
What is PrEP?
PRE = BEFORE
EXPOSURE = COMING INTO CONTACT WITH HIV
PROPHYLAXIS = TREATMENT TO PREVENT AN
PrEP is short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.
Basically, it is a medication taken by people who are HIV negative to decrease the likelihood of contracting HIV.
Studies have shown that when taken as prescribed, PrEP is between 92-100% effective in preventing HIV, and is even more effective when combined with other prevention strategies such as condoms.
Currently, the only medication that is FDA-approved to be used as PrEP is Truvada®.
In Ohio, those who are at highest risk of HIV exposure are gay and bisexual men, people who inject drugs, transgender women, straight women of color, and people who trade sex for money or other things.
Where can I get PrEP?
PrEP is available by prescription from doctors, nurse practitioners, and/or physician's assistants.
People wanting to obtain PrEP have to first test negative for HIV. They must also agree to regular lab tests to monitor their overall health and HIV status.
Most private health insurance and Medicaid plans cover PrEP!
It takes about 1-3 weeks for the drug to reach its maximum level of protection.
The best resource for PrEP information is ohioprep.org.
Here you can find basic information on PrEP as well as payment assistance programs and prescribing clinics.
What is "Undetectable" or "U=U"
"When ART results in viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels, it prevents sexual HIV transmission."
Simply, this means if a person who is HIV positive is in treatment, and continues with treatment after they become virally suppressed, they cannot spread the HIV virus.
"U=U" stands for Undetectable=Untransmittable.
Read more about this breakthrough here
What is PEP?
Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is a way to prevent HIV infection after a recent possible exposure to the virus.
PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV. If you think you’ve recently been exposed to HIV during sex, through sharing needles, or if you’ve been sexually assaulted, talk to your health care provider or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away.
Advocacy and Referrals
CANAPI educates organizations, schools and community groups about HIV. We have speakers available to lecture on topics including prevention and risk reduction, living with HIV, current trends in the epidemic and its treatment, as well as information about our agency and its services.
CANAPI stocks a variety of printed materials about HIV/AIDS, some of which is targeted to specific populations such as teens, racial and sexual minorities, and health and safety workers. CANAPI volunteers and staff members distribute safer sex supplies within the community and supplies are also available in our offices. Posters, brochures and safer sex supplies are available free of charge.
We also provide referral services to clients in need of specialized medical care and legal guidance, support groups and other support services. Please contact us at 330.252.1559 if you would like to learn more.
Ohio HIV/STD Prevention Hotline
Call (1.800.332.2437) or email the Ohio HIV/STD Hotline for free, anonymous and confidential answers to your questions and concerns. The Hotline is staffed by trained volunteers and AIDS Resource Center Ohio Prevention and Education staff. It operates Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find more here.
FAQ - HIV/ AIDS/ HIV testing
What is HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV attacks the immune system, making it difficult for your body to fight off infection.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: Acquired means you get infected with it. Immune Deficiency means a weakness in the body’s immune system to fight diseases. Syndrome means a group of health problems that make up a disease.
Is there a cure for HIV/AIDS?
No. There is not a cure for HIV/AIDS.
Are there treatments available for people infected with HIV/AIDS?
Yes. HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) is available for all people infected with HIV/AIDS. HAART is also known as “cocktails.”
How long is the lifespan of an individual infected with HIV/AIDS?
With proper medical care, diet, exercise and adherence to HAART, an individual infected with HIV/AIDS can expect to live a full lifetime.
How might I become infected with HIV/AIDS?
A person can become infected with HIV/AIDS after having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person. Exposure to infected bodily fluids can also lead to infection. Blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk contain infectious levels of HIV. It is important to use universal precautions when handling any bodily fluids. It is also important to note that an infected mother can transfer HIV to their infant while breastfeeding. You can also become infected by sharing needles with an infected person.
How can I reduce my risk of infection?
Use a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex. If you are an injection drug user, do not share your needles and use bleach and water to clean them after each use. Needle exchange programs are available in certain areas. Use universal precautions every time you are handling bodily fluids.
What are universal precautions?
Universal precautions are wearing latex or vinyl gloves when handling bodily fluids.
What are the symptoms of HIV infection?
Those who do show early HIV symptoms will develop flu-like symptoms. This can include: fever, rash, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes and glands. However, for most people, the first symptoms of HIV will not be apparent. The only way to know for certain that you are infected with HIV is to be tested.
Where can I get tested for HIV?
HIV testing is available at all public health departments. Call your local health department to schedule an appointment. In Summit County, Ohio, call 330-252-1559 to schedule an appointment with Community AIDS Network. All areas outside of Summit County, please call 1-800-332-2437 to find the testing site nearest to you.
How is one tested for HIV?
There are many different HIV tests available.
In a healthcare setting (doctor's office):
A vial of blood is drawn by a health care professional and sent to a lab for testing. This method can take up to one week to deliver results.
In a non-healthcare setting (CANAPI, Planned Parenthood, etc):
Rapid testing is available. An oral rapid test is available at certain testing sites. This process takes about 20 minutes to get results.
A finger prick method is also available, where a small sample of the client’s blood is collected and tested. This process takes about 20 minutes.
CANAPI may use either the rapid oral test or the rapid finger stick test, and determines which test to use on a client-by-client basis.
How often should I be tested for HIV and other STDs?
If you are sexually active, we recommend that you be tested for HIV and other STDs every 3-6 months. If you are in a monogamous relationship, we recommend you and your partner get tested for all STDs (including HIV) three months into the relationship and then again at six months. Local health departments offer full STD screenings. Please call them to schedule an appointment.
If your test is negative –
A negative or non-reactive results indicates that antibodies to HIV are not present in your body at that time. However, antibodies to HIV can take up to three months to develop. If you think you have been exposed, it is best to wait three months to be tested. Testing prior to three months may result in a false negative.
If your test is positive –
A positive or reactive test result indicates that antibodies to HIV are present in your body. A follow-up test is needed to confirm these results.
How accurate are the tests?
Community AIDS Network uses Oraquick Rapid Antibody HIV 1/2 and Alere Determine Ag/Ab Rapid testing devices. These testing devices are 99.8% accurate and 100% sensitive. 100% sensitive means that if your test results are negative then, at that time, you are free of HIV.
What is the difference between anonymous and confidential HIV testing?
If you are tested anonymously for HIV then you are known only as a number, and you will not receive a copy of your test results. If you test confidentially, your name and other information is given. A copy of your results is given to you if you test confidentially. All information collected remains confidential and is not sent beyond the state level.