HIV Testing

Fourth Generation HIV Testing

For some time, we have looked for antibodies to determine if someone has HIV. Although this is still the most common way to detect HIV, there is a window period of about 6-8 weeks after exposure before the HIV antibodies show up.

We have partnered with Seven Hills to offer a new confidential testing option, Fourth Generation HIV Testing. Fourth Generation testing technology looks not only for antibodies, but an antigen as well. This antigen is present in people who are newly infected with HIV and shows up within 14 days of exposure. With Fourth Generation testing, HIV infections can be detected two weeks after exposure.

FALL 2019 HIV TESTING DATES
Testing will be held at the Frederick Douglass Unity House (Residents' Dining Hall, Ground Floor) for all Fall 2019 dates.

Tuesday, September 24
12- 4 pm
In recognition of National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Frederick Douglass Unity House

Tuesday, October 22
12-4 pm
In recognition of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
Frederick Douglass Unity House

Wednesday, November 20
12-4 pm
In advance of World AIDS Day
Frederick Douglass Unity House

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Does this test require a finger prick or a blood draw? 
This test requires a blood draw, which is performed by trained counselors from Seven Hills.
PLEASE EAT SOMETHING AND HYDRATE (DRINK WATER) PRIOR TO ARRIVING FOR YOUR TEST.

Is testing free? If you have health insurance, Seven Hills will collect this information at intake and bill your insurance. PLEASE BRING YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE CARD WITH YOU. If you do not have health insurance, you will not be billed. No one will be denied service based upon their ability to pay.

Is testing confidential? Yes.

Do I need an appointment? No. Testing is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

How long does it take to get my results?
Results are back in a week or so; counselors from Seven Hills will notify you of your results.

What are the advantages of this new test?
One of the big advantages of this test is the fact that the window period is so short. Early detection of HIV can dramatically improve treatment outcomes, as well as prevent those who don’t know they are newly-infected from spreading the virus to others. Newly infected HIV positive people are among the most infectious. Many transmissions happen because most newly-infected people aren’t aware of their status and they inadvertently pass HIV on to their partners.

Is HIV testing also available through Student Health Services?
Yes! Make an appointment by calling 508.999.8982 (x8982) or 508.910.6641 (x6641) or logging into the patient portal. Appointments are available Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30am to 5pm.

Remember to bring your health insurance card or information and your UMass Pass (student ID).

Each time you visit Health Services for care, we bill your insurance—whether it's your student health insurance plan through the university, your own plan, or a family health insurance plan. Lab tests are sent to Quest Diagnostics, which also bills your insurance.

I'm concerned about using my health insurance because I'm on someone else's insurance, such as a parent or guardian, and I don't want them to know I got tested. Can anything be done about this?
Yes! PATCH (Protecting Access to Confidential Health Care) is a Massachusetts law providing confidentiality protections for health insurance notices. However, you must request that your health insurance notices, called Explanation of Benefits (EOB), be sent to a different mailing address before you receive service. To do this, call the customer service phone number found on the back of your health insurance card or on your health plan’s website. You need your insurance plan’s name and ID number in order to do this. Your health plan may then require that you make the request in writing. Click here for more information.

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