Find Out More about HIV and STIs
Ohio HIV/AIDS/STI Hotline
Stonewall Columbus Center on High
Free Rapid HIV Testing and STI Testing (syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea)
Mondays 1pm to 8pm
Testing takes 30 minutes
Must arrive 30 minutes before closing to get tested
HIV Testing is an oral swab in your mouth. STI Testing includes and blood and urine sample.
HIV Testing provided by AIDS Resource Center of Ohio
STI Testing provided by Columbus Public Health
Additional Free HIV/STI Testing Sites in Columbus
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a rapid test?
OraQuick Rapid test uses oral fluid that is collected from the mouth using a special collection swab. It uses the oral fluid to look for the presence of HIV antibodies. It produces very quick results, approximately 20 minutes.
Should I get tested?
The following are behaviors that increase your chances of getting HIV. If you answer yes to any, you should definitely get an HIV test.
- Have you injected drugs or shared works (such as needles, syringes) with others?
- Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), like syphilis?
- Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?
If you have had sex with someone whose history of sex partners and/or drug use is unknown to you or if you or your partner has had many sex partners, then you are at risk of being infected with HIV.
How long after a possible exposure should I wait to get tested?
Many HIV tests are antibody tests that measure the antibodies your body makes against HIV. It can take some time for the immune system to produce enough antibodies for the antibody test to detect and this time period can vary from person to person. This time period is commonly referred to as the “window period.” Most people will develop antibodies in the first 3 months following the time of their infection. In rare cases, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibodies to HIV.
How do HIV tests work?
Once HIV enters the body, the immune system starts to produce antibodies — (chemicals that are part of the immune system that recognize invaders like bacteria and viruses and mobilize the body’s attempt to fight infection). In the case of HIV, these antibodies cannot fight off the infection, but their presence is used to tell if a person has HIV in his or her body. In other words, most HIV tests look for the HIV antibodies rather than looking for HIV itself.
Some tests take a few days for results, but rapid HIV tests can give results in about 20 minutes. All positive HIV tests must be followed up by another test to confirm the positive result. Results of this confirmatory test can take a few days to a few weeks.