Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is a virus that weakens the immune system. HIV does not define you. You’re still the same person - beautiful, unique. HIV doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone who engages in certain behaviors, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, etc. Unprotected sex (vaginal, anal and oral), sharing needles/syringes (or other blood to blood contact), or childbirth (from mother to child) can transmit HIV.
Variety Care offers a safe, accepting place for you to receive HIV testing, prevention, treatment and education.
All Variety Care sites offer HIV testing. Additionally, our locations at 1025 Straka Terrace and 11220 N Rockwell Ave currently offers a weekly free HIV testing program through a partnership with the Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA) and Red Rock Behavioral Health Services.
Many insurances will cover the cost of HIV testing; however, those without insurance may qualify to receive a test for as low at $4 at Variety Care.
More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV and 1 in 5 don't know it. Prevention is the key to stopping the spread and protecting yourself. At Variety Care, we offer PEP and PrEP as methods for HIV prevention.
PEP: Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV.
PrEP: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at risk for HIV take daily medicine to prevent HIV. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body. When taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use.
A positive test is not a death sentence. It doesn’t change who you are. With treatment, you can still live the best possible life.
It is important that you start medical care and begin HIV treatment as soon as you learn you are HIV positive. HIV is treated with a combination of drugs called anti-retro-viral therapy (ART). ART is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long they’ve had the virus or how healthy they are. HIV medicine works by lowering the amount of virus in your body to very low levels.
Although a cure for HIV does not yet exist, ART can keep you healthy for many years. ART reduces the amount of virus (or viral load) in your blood and body fluids.