FAQ

FAQ2020-04-28T17:31:23+03:00
Why should I get tested?2019-03-08T14:31:26+03:00

Knowing your HIV status is the best way to protect your health and the health of your partner. If you have an HIV-positive status, early initiation of treatment gives you the best chance to live a healthy and long life. Many people who are HIV-positive do not know their status, and could unknowingly infect others. If you are a sexually active person, you should get tested. Testing at our sites is free of charge, quick, easy, and friendly.

How much does HIV testing cost?2019-03-08T14:35:24+03:00

Getting an HIV test is free of charge.

How long will the test take?2019-03-08T14:37:26+03:00

The actual test will take from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the test result. For rapid tests used at our sites only a small drop of blood is needed.
We use an algorithm of testing with a primary (so-called screening) test, and in the case of a positive result, a confirmatory test is performed immediately, also with the use of a rapid test. If you get tested in our clinic, we guarantee that testing will be carried out quickly and qualitatively.

How long will I have to wait for my results?2019-03-08T14:39:43+03:00

You will receive the results of the test within 15 minutes.

Who will give me the test?2019-03-08T14:41:22+03:00

The test will be administered by a trained and certified HIV testing counselor.

Will I have to answer a lot of personal questions?2019-03-08T14:43:18+03:00

We only gather the minimum information necessary to assess your individual needs, which helps us provide you with quality services. We strive to keep the process as simple as possible.

What shall I do, if my test results show that I am HIV-positive?2019-03-08T14:45:37+03:00

If you receive an HIV-positive test result, our counselors will walk you through the next steps. HIV is not fully curable, but it is treatable and the treatments are free of charge and highly effective.
Caring for people living with HIV is our mission. If you receive a positive test result, our qualified staff will be with you to support you at the stage of confirming your HIV diagnosis and initiating the necessary treatment.

How can it be determined whether someone has HIV?2019-03-08T10:58:25+03:00

The only way to find out about your HIV status is to get tested for HIV. There are no other ways to detect HIV infection.

Which methods are used for detecting antibodies to HIV?2019-03-08T11:05:20+03:00
  1. Testing with the use of rapid tests (you receive the result in 15 minutes).
  2. Testing for the detection of antibodies to HIV using standard laboratory methods:
    • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA);
    • сhemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA).

Both methods are equally effective and reliable when detecting antibodies to HIV.
In our clinic, you can undergo free and confidential testing for the detection of antibodies to HIV with the use of rapid tests and receive the results in 15 minutes.

What is the reliability of a rapid test for antibodies to HIV?2019-03-08T12:12:29+03:00

Rapid tests are currently as reliable as tests performed in laboratories.

Do I need to make an appointment in order to get tested for HIV?2019-03-08T12:15:26+03:00

No. There is no need to make an appointment.

Do I need to prepare for a rapid HIV test?2019-03-08T13:56:47+03:00

No special preparation is needed when performing testing using a rapid test. Testing with a use of a rapid test does not depend on food intake and time of day.

I had sex without a condom, how soon should I get tested for HIV? When should re-testing be performed?2019-03-08T14:00:20+03:00
  • With the help of these tests we are currently able to detect antibodies to HIV in 9–12 weeks after potential high-risk intercourse. This period of time is called “seroconversion window”, when HIV virus is already in the blood, but there are still no antibodies. During this period, an infected person can already transmit the virus to other people, including during an unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • The result obtained 12 weeks after a high-risk intercourse is final, and in this case there is no need for re-testing.
  • Those who have a high risk of becoming infected with HIV, for example, due to frequent unprotected sexual intercourse or drug injecting, should get tested for HIV at least once every 6–12 months.
If I get a negative HIV test result, what should I do to avoid getting infected?2019-03-08T14:09:56+03:00
In order to prevent getting infected with HIV, you must follow a few simple rules:
  • always use a condom during sexual intercourse (anal and/or vaginal sex) with an HIV-positive partner or with a partner about whose HIV status you do not have reliable information;
  • use individual disposable sterile instruments when injecting drugs. Never exchange instruments which were used when preparing or administering drugs;
  • do tattoos and piercings only in specialized salons where disposable or sterile tools are used for these procedures.
I do not have HIV infection, but I am dating an HIV-positive person. How can I protect myself?2019-03-08T14:15:23+03:00
  • According to many studies, there is almost no chance that HIV-positive people who are taking ART and have an undetectable level of viral load will transmit HIV to their partner. But before viral load is reduced to an undetectable level, you must use a condom every time you have sex.
  • You need to get tested for HIV regularly, at least once every 3–6 months.
Where can I get free condoms?2019-03-08T14:21:30+03:00

In our clinic you can get free condoms.

What is COVID-19?2020-04-28T17:37:15+03:00

Coronaviruses are an extensive family of viruses that can cause disease in both animals and humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections that can range from the common cold to more serious illnesses, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes COVID-19 disease.

Both the new virus and the disease were unknown before the outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

How does COVID-19 spread?2020-04-28T17:33:10+03:00

A person can get COVID-19 from contact with the respiratory droplets of another who is infected with the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through droplets from the nose or mouth that are thrown out when an infected person coughs or exhales. These droplets fall on objects and surfaces around the person, so other people can get COVID-19 if they touch these objects or surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.

They can also be spread by inhaling droplets that a person with COVID-19 has spread by coughing or exhaling. So it is important to stay more than 2 meter (6 feet) away from an ill person.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?2020-04-28T17:36:45+03:00

Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted primarily through contact with a sick person’s respiratory droplets, rather than through the air. (See the answer above to the question “How does COVID-19 spread?”)

What protective measures should people take where COVID-19 is spreading?2020-04-28T18:42:31+03:00
  1. Follow the advice from the previous question.
  2. Stay home if you start to feel bad, even if your symptoms are mild—like headache, mild fever (99° F or higher), and mild runny nose—until you recover.
  3. If you need to leave home or receive a visit (for example, to get food), use a face mask or some other covering on your face to avoid infecting other people.
  4. If you returned from a trip from an area considered risky (e.g. Central Europe, China, Japan, United States, etc.) Put yourself in voluntary self-isolation (a minimum of 14 days) without contact with other people and rigorously adopt the recommendations mentioned in the previous answer. *
  5. See the updated map at the moment of the countries with the most cases google.org/crisisresponse/covid19-map
What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread?2020-04-28T23:38:08+03:00

Wash your hands vigorously and frequently using soap and running water or, if that is not possible, use a 70% alcohol-based disinfectant. Soap and water or alcohol-based disinfectant eliminates viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain a minimum distance of 2 meter between you and other people because if someone coughs or sneezes, droplets of nasal or oral fluid that may contain the virus are released through the nose or mouth.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands, as your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up the virus. Once contaminated, the hands can transfer the virus to the eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, the virus can enter the body and cause disease.

Both you and the people around you should make sure you maintain good respiratory hygiene. That means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Used tissues should be discarded immediately.

By maintaining good respiratory hygiene, you are protecting people around you from viruses like the cold, flu, and COVID-19.

Stay home if you don’t feel well.

If you have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, seek medical attention. Follow the instructions of the local health authorities. The national and local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on the situation in your locality, so monitor information regularly. In many cities, social distancing and curfews have been implemented to curb new infections. So stay home if possible.

Are there medications or therapies to prevent or cure COVID-19?2020-04-28T23:47:09+03:00

Although some western, traditional, or home remedies can provide comfort and alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medications can prevent or cure the disease.

We recommend that you do NOT self-medicate, particularly with antibiotics, to prevent or cure COVID-19.

There are several ongoing clinical trials with traditional and western medications. WHO will provide updated information as soon as the results of clinical trials are available.

How long is the COVID-19 incubation period?2020-04-28T23:48:52+03:00

The incubation period is the time between infection by the virus and the first appearance of symptoms of the disease. Most estimates for the COVID-19 incubation period range from 1 to 14 days, and are generally around five days.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?2020-04-28T23:50:26+03:00

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may experience pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and appear gradually.

Some people contract COVID-19 but do not develop any symptoms and do not feel ill. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing any special medical treatment. About 1-in-6 people who get COVID-19 develop a serious illness and have difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious complications.

Is it possible to get COVID-19 from contact with a person who does not have any symptoms?2020-04-28T23:53:34+03:00

The risk of contracting COVID-19 from someone who does not have symptoms is similar to that of a person who has them, so it is important to take the necessary isolation and hygiene measures to avoid being in contact with the virus.

Many people who get COVID-19 have only mild symptoms. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, it is possible to get it from someone who, for example, only has a mild cough and does not feel sick.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is studying more about the transmission period of COVID-19 and will continue to report on the updated results at www.who.int/en/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

How should I seek help in case of symptoms?2020-04-29T22:13:23+03:00

First try to seek medical assistance by telephone with your primary health service. Or reach by phone or digital media the programs governments of each country have arranged for the emergency. See the list of resources by country.

Avoiding visiting medical centers will allow health facilities to function more effectively and will help protect you and others from potential COVID-19 infections.

Who is at risk of developing a serious illness?2020-04-29T22:19:23+03:00

We still have a lot to learn about how COVID-19 affects humans, but we can all become infected.

Is there a vaccine, medicine, or treatment for COVID-19?2020-04-29T22:19:57+03:00

Not yet. To date, there is no specific vaccine or antiviral medication to prevent or treat COVID-19.
However, those affected must receive healthcare to relieve symptoms. People with severe cases of the disease should be hospitalized. Most patients recover with the help of support measures.

Possible vaccines and different specific pharmacological treatments are being investigated. There are ongoing clinical trials to test them. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat COVID-19.

Can my pet spread the virus to me?2020-04-29T22:21:47+03:00

To date there is no evidence that a dog, cat, or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is spread mainly through droplets produced by an infected person coughing, sneezing, or talking—then someone else breathing them in or by touching contaminated surfaces. To protect yourself, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

Is there something I shouldn’t do?2020-04-29T22:23:09+03:00

Try to lead your normal life. Take the hygiene and social distancing measures mentioned above—you and your family can face this emergency. We advise you to eat a balanced diet to take care of your immune system and avoid smoking.

  • Avoid excessive exposure to COVID-19 media coverage.
  • Only read information from reliable sources.
  • Take care of your health. Take deep breaths, stretch, exercise, and/or meditate.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. Make time to relax and remind yourself that negative feelings will fade away.
  • Take breaks and stop watching or hearing news related to the crisis and pandemic.
Is it possible to get COVID-19 from contact with the feces of a person with the disease?2020-04-29T22:28:19+03:00

The risk of contracting COVID-19 from contact with the feces of an infected person appears to be low. Although initial research suggests that the virus may be present in some cases in feces, this form of spread is not one of the characteristic features of the outbreak. However, it is a risk, and therefore, is one more reason to wash your hands frequently after going to the bathroom.

Are antibiotics or antimicrobials effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?2020-04-29T22:31:03+03:00

Neither antibiotics nor antimicrobials are effective against viruses. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work against it. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment against COVID-19.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself?2020-04-29T22:31:59+03:00

If you do not have respiratory symptoms characteristic of COVID-19 (especially cough) or do not take care of a person who may have contracted this disease, it is not necessary to wear a clinical mask. Remember that disposable masks can only be used once, so if you are not sick or do not take care of someone who is, you are wasting a mask. The world’s stockpile of face masks is depleting, and WHO urges that they are used sensibly.

The most effective measures against COVID-19 to protect yourself and others are: wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth with your bent elbow or with a tissue when coughing, and keep a distance from people of at least 2 meter (6 feet).

Should I be concerned about COVID-19?2020-04-29T22:35:52+03:00

The symptoms of COVID-19 are generally mild, especially in children and young adults. However, they can also be serious and force approximately 1-in-5 infected to be hospitalized. Therefore, it is quite normal to worry about the effects that the COVID-19 outbreak can have on us and our loved ones.

The main and most important measure is regular and complete hygiene of the hands and respiratory tract. Second, it is important to stay informed and follow the advice of local health authorities, such as those related to travel, commuting, and events where large numbers of people may be concentrated. You can consult the protection tips on the page: www.who.int/es/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Does the coronavirus pose a higher risk to people living with HIV?2020-04-29T22:41:08+03:00

The new coronavirus prevention guidelines for people living with HIV are the same as for the general public. There is NO evidence that people with HIV are at increased risk for SARS-CoV2 infection or serious complications. There are no indications of the impact of viral load or CD4 cell count or the risk of contracting it or developing complications.

How to get increased quantities of antiretrovirals during quarantine?2020-04-29T22:45:55+03:00

It is essential to ensure your supply of antiretrovirals, ideally for 90 days. In case you have problems getting your ARVs, contact AHF in your country through our WhatsApp lines to assist you. It is also important to have condoms available during quarantine periods.

How to maintain mental health during social distancing?2020-04-29T22:48:29+03:00

Alcohol and drug abuse can have adverse effects on your mental health. Make time to relax, and remind yourself that negative feelings will fade away.

Are there any special recommendations for people living with HIV?2020-04-29T22:51:17+03:00
  • Get vaccinated against Influenza and Pneumococcus.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to COVID-19 media coverage. Seek information from reliable sources.
  • Take care of your body. Take a deep breath, stretch, and/or meditate.

Other than that, the recommendations are the same as for all people:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, several times a day.
  • If soap and running water are not available, rub your hands with (70% alcohol) disinfectant gel as if you were washing them.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid crowds, trips, and public transportation.
  • Stay at home. Only leave if extremely necessary. The highest transmission rate occurs during the incubation period when people still do not have symptoms or do not look sick.
  • If you have questions or concerns, contact your physician by phone or WhatsApp before physically going to a health center.
  • Get your information from official sources, avoid falling into over-information and panic.
Can COVID-19 be transmitted through sex?2020-04-29T23:00:22+03:00

There is no evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted through vaginal or anal intercourse. Still, it is almost sure that during sex, there will be kissing or you will breathe small droplets of saliva from the other person.

Sexual contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 is considered a high risk of transmission.

Is it safe to have oral sex?2020-04-29T23:07:40+03:00

There is no evidence so far that COVID-19 can be transmitted through vaginal fluids or semen. There is evidence of oral-fecal transmission. Analingus can pose a risk of infection, so it is best to avoid oral sex.

How to have sex during quarantine?2020-04-29T23:10:30+03:00
  • You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (keep sex toys clean too) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.
  • The next safest partner is someone you live with. It is best to have close contact and/or sex with only a small circle of people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • You should avoid close contact, including sex, with anyone outside your home.
  • Try to keep your number of sexual partners to a minimum.
  • If you or your partner suspects you many have COVID-19, temporarily avoid sexual relations and especially kisses until you are evaluated by a physician.
What if I want to find a new sexual partner?2020-04-29T23:12:13+03:00

The recommendation is: stay home and practice social distancing.

If you use online partner search platforms such as Tinder, Grinder, Hornet, etc., there should be no physical interaction for a few weeks. Try having video chats with virtual sex (or sex through web cam) and meet in person when the social isolation period has ended.

Is there a risk of getting COVID-19 if I use sex toys?2020-04-29T23:15:04+03:00

Touching contaminated surfaces is believed to be the secondary mode of virus transmission. To protect yourself and your partner, even from an STI and any other risks, keep sex toys clean, preferably cover them with a new condom during use, and then discard it. After each use or before using, wash sex toys with plenty of soap and water. Also avoid exchanging or sharing them during the sex act.

Is it safe to have sex right now?2020-04-29T23:16:27+03:00

If you or your partner tested positive or have been exposed to cases of COVID-19, avoid sexual and personal contact for the time indicated by your doctor. Call the emergency lines in your country if you have further questions.

Is masturbation safe?2020-04-29T23:21:17+03:00

Self-satisfaction is a totally safe option, and you should practice good hygiene before and after with soap and water. There are also other safe ways that people express eroticism and safe sexuality, such as sexting, video calling, virtual sex or sex through web cams, and/or erotic readings.

How long do I have to wait before I can be intimate with someone new?2020-04-29T23:23:47+03:00

The most important thing right now is to make sure that you and your acquaintances practice social distancing. The sooner we do this, we will see a decline in new cases, and we can continue our practices of socializing. We recommend that instead of focusing on the future, you focus on the present.