negative test? find more local resources here.

I just tested positive. Now what?

Getting a positive test result can feel really heavy.  Take a deep breath. It’s important to take care of yourself and reach out to get support and treatment.  If you’re feeling anxious or upset, text Crisis Text Line at 741741 or visit CrisisTextLine.org to get immediate mental health support. There are different follow up steps for each diagnosis. When you’re ready to take the next step, find out more below. Remember: Your local health department may reach out to double check your results.

Get a second HIV test at a clinic

If you received a positive result from the TakeMeHome HIV Oral Swab Test, you will need to go to a clinic for a confirmatory test. This test is more sensitive and will confirm whether you have HIV or not. You cannot use a second home-test from TakeMeHome to confirm these results.


Start treatment

If you received a positive result from the TakeMeHome Fingerstick Test or if the second test you got at a clinic has a positive result, that means that you have HIV and should begin treatment called antiretroviral therapy. Most people living with HIV can manage their HIV with only 1 pill a day. Usually you can start HIV treatment the same day you receive testing at a clinic.


Stay on treatment

People living with HIV can live long and healthy lives just like people who don’t have HIV. Taking your meds every day–sometimes called treatment adherence–can eventually reduce your viral load (the amount of HIV in your body) and help you become undetectable. Being undetectable means that your HIV is managed and that you can’t pass HIV on to your partners.


Get support

Everyone reacts differently to their HIV diagnosis. Be kind to yourself however you’re feeling about it. When you’re ready to talk about it, reach out to a trusted person and tell them what is going on. They can help support you, or you can find a mental health provider or join a support group if you aren’t ready to tell your loved ones yet. There are online forums to talk to other people living with HIV for support. Be sure to ask your HIV medical provider about mental health support resources available through their clinic.


Get help paying for HIV treatment

Click here to learn more about the Ryan White program, which provides financial support for HIV medications and other medical care. You can also reach out to your state HIV hotline to get connected to local resources.


Tell recent sex partners or people you’ve shared syringes/works with in the last 12 months about your result

You might feel awkward, scared, or worried about their reaction. For tips on how to tell them yourself, here are some suggestions. If you want to tell your partners yourself, but want to do so anonymously, TellYourPartner.org provides a way to email or text them. You’re helping them make sure they can get tested and treated quickly if they also have HIV. This can be a huge life transition, but please know that there is support waiting for you.


Resources

Get treatment

Gonorrhea is a very common STI and can be easily treated with a course of antibiotic pills.


Tell sex partners from the last 90 days about your result

You might feel awkward, scared, or worried about their reaction. For tips on how to tell them yourself, here are some suggestions. If you want to tell your partners yourself, but want to do so anonymously, TellYourPartner.org provides a way to text them. You’re helping them make sure they can get tested and treated quickly if they also have gonorrhea.


Hold off on sex for now

Gonorrhea is easy to pass back and forth between partners if left untreated or if you have sex too soon after treatment. It is recommended not to have sex for 7 days, or, if you have a 7-day treatment, until your treatment is completed.


Make testing part of your routine

You should be getting tested for gonorrhea every 3 to 6 months.


If you have joint pain, redness, rashes, and/or pink spots filled with fluid, see a medical professional ASAP

Disseminated gonorrhea (DGI) is a rare infection that has been on the rise recently. DGI is treated differently from gonorrhea you get in your dick, throat, vagina/front hole, or butt. It is a serious medical issue that needs immediate attention to get appropriate treatment.


Resources

Get treatment

Chlamydia is the most common STI and can be easily treated with a course of antibiotic pills.


Tell sex partners from the last 90 days about your result

You might feel awkward, scared, or worried about their reaction. For tips on how to tell them yourself, here are some suggestions. If you want to tell your partners yourself, but want to do so anonymously, TellYourPartner.org provides a way to text them. You’re helping them make sure they can get tested and treated quickly if they also have chlamydia.


Hold off on sex for now

Chlamydia is easy to pass back and forth between partners if left untreated or if you have sex too soon after treatment. It is recommended not to have sex for 7 days, or, if you have a 7-day treatment, until your treatment is completed.


Make testing part of your routine

You should be getting tested for chlamydia every 3 to 6 months.


Resources

Get another test to confirm your results

You will need to go to a clinic to get another blood test. You will likely receive treatment the same day and will have to test again in a few months to make sure that the medication cleared your infection. 


Tell sex partners from the last 12 months about your result

You might feel awkward, scared, or worried about their reaction. For tips on how to tell them yourself, here are some suggestions. If you want to tell your partners yourself, but want to do so anonymously, TellYourPartner.org provides a way to text them. You’re helping them make sure they can get tested and treated quickly if they also have syphilis.


Avoid sex during treatment and for two weeks after you are treated

You can still pass syphilis on for at least 2 weeks after completing treatment.


Make syphilis testing part of your routine

You should be getting tested for syphilis every 3 to 6 months during your regular STI screening. Remember: you need a blood test to test for syphilis, so make sure to ask your provider what you’re getting tested for. For future syphilis tests, tell your provider you’ve had it. If you’ve had syphilis before, you will always have antibodies so make sure the provider gives you the test to find a current infection.


Resources

  • Syphilis info: How to prevent, test for, and treat syphilis
  • Long Time No Syphilis: A video series and resource all about syphilis (note: localized resources on this website are for the U.K.)

Get another test to confirm your results

You will need to go to a clinic to get another blood test to confirm if your Hepatitis C infection is active. This is especially important if you’re living with HIV since people with HIV often get false positive hepatitis C results.


Start treatment

There are newer treatments now available for hepatitis C that can clear the virus from your body and prevent the virus from causing cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer or liver failure. These new treatments are highly effective, with limited side-effects, even for people who are living with HIV. Most people can be cured in 8 to 12 weeks.


Talk to a healthcare provider about lifestyle changes

Some people find complementary therapies and lifestyle changes to be helpful in managing hepatitis C symptoms. Drinking alcohol can especially make Hepatitis C more aggressive on your liver, so don’t be afraid to talk about your options.


Tell others you’ve had sex with or injected drugs with from the past 12 months about your result

You might feel awkward, scared, or worried about their reaction. For tips on how to tell someone, here are some suggestions. You’re helping them make sure they can get tested and treated quickly if they also have hepatitis C.


Make Hepatitis C testing part of your routine

If you are living with HIV, have condomless sex, and/or inject drugs, make sure to get tested for hepatitis C at least once a year. If you’ve been previously diagnosed, make sure to tell whoever is testing you so they can give you the correct test. You will always have hepatitis C antibodies, so you need a test that can tell if you currently have an infection.


Resources

Talk with your PrEP provider about your results

Creatinine is a waste product that comes from the normal wear and tear on muscles of the body. Creatinine levels in the blood can vary depending on age, race and body size. Tenofovir, one of the medicines in PrEP, can also affect the creatinine level. A creatinine level greater than 1.2 for people assigned female at birth and greater than 1.4 for people assigned male at birth may be an early sign that tenofovir is affecting your kidneys.


Don’t panic

This doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to stop taking PrEP. Your PrEP provider will walk you through your options and what your results mean for you.

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