ACR Health provides free and confidential testing services at four offices and at designated locations in the community every month. To learn more, or to request an appointment, email us at Testing@ACRHealth.org or call us at 315.475.2430.
The current schedule for HIV and STI testing varies by office location. Call or email to schedule your appointment at the location that works best for you.
Syracuse (627 W. Genesee Street): Tuesday – Thursday
Utica (287 Genesee Street): Monday – Friday
Watertown: Every other Thursday starting April 1
HIV Rapid Testing
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms. Even if you don’t feel sick, getting early treatment for HIV is important: early treatment can help you live a longer, healthier life.
HIV testing at ACR Health can be a two-step process. The first step is to test for antibodies in blood or oral mucosal fluid (saliva). At ACR Health we utilize a 4th generation rapid finger stick test to look for HIV antibodies in a drop of blood. The test provides results in 20 minutes. This rapid test is a reliable and convenient way for people to learn their HIV status in our offices or on our mobile units.
If the rapid test is positive, a second test called a Western Blot is done to ensure that the first result was correct. To do this, ACR Health staff may collect an additional blood sample through a second finger prick. We then send the sample to a laboratory and will notify you when your results are available, approximately 2-3 days later.
Am I at risk for HIV?
HIV is spread through some of the body’s fluids, like blood, semen (cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV can be passed from one person to another by:
- Having unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a person who has HIV.
- Sharing syringes while injecting drugs with someone who has HIV.
- Engaging in other high-risk behaviors like encounters with many different sexual partners; having sex with partners of an unknown HIV status; having sex with anonymous sex partners; having sex with someone who injects drugs; having sex while you are high or intoxicated; having sex if you currently have a sexually transmitted infection.
- Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV*
- Getting a blood transfusion that has HIV in it*
*Through standardized screening options for pregnant women, NYS has greatly reduced the transmission of HIV from mothers to infants. According to the CDC (March 2013), the risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV is extremely remote due to the rigorous testing of the U.S. blood supply.
HIV can be prevented through abstinence, using condoms, and PrEP, the once-a-day pill that can prevent the transmission of HIV. Learn more about PrEP here.
Viral Hepatitis C (HCV) Testing
Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States and according to the CDC is now killing more people than HIV.
HCV Rapid Testing
ACR Health offers rapid HCV testing that delivers preliminary results in twenty minutes. The OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody Test uses a drop of blood from a finger stick.
Am I at risk for HCV?
- Were born from 1945 through 1965
- Have ever used a syringe to inject drugs, even if once and long ago
- Have ever shared injection equipment (e.g. cottons, water, cookers) with other users
- Had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
- Have tattoos or body piercings in non-regulated settings
- Have HIV infection
- Had contact with hepatitis-C positive blood
- Have ever shared snorting equipment
- Have liver disease or abnormal liver function test
- Have had a sexual partner with Hepatitis C, now or in the past
- Are a Vietnam-era Veteran
- Have hemophilia and received clotting factor before 1987
If you test positive for HCV, ACR Health can link you to the medical cure.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested. Many STIs have no signs or symptoms for most people who have them. The infection can have mild symptoms that can be easily overlooked. This is why the term “disease” (as in STD) is starting to be replaced by infection (or STI).
Helpful Tip: Remember, you have to ask to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease at a doctor’s office. It is not part of regular physical or pelvic exam.
ACR Health offers screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia in our offices and at select locations in the community every month. Results are not immediately available, so staff have to be able to follow up with you in 2-3 business days. Our screening method requires you to provide us with a urine sample, so we recommend not using the restroom for at least 30 minutes before your appointment time.
We now offer a 10-minute rapid test for syphilis which is similar to the HIV rapid test requiring a finger prick.
Risky sexual behaviors and some injecting practices (example: re-using or sharing syringes with others) contribute to new HIV, Viral Hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections (STI) in our community. Sexual health and information about substance use and its impact on the body are important health issues for all people, regardless of age, race, gender, etc.
An important first step to safety is to know your status; get tested for HIV, Hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). If you know what you are facing, you can take better care of yourself and protect those you love.
If you test positive for any STI, ACR Health will connect you with treatment options to get you healthy.
Testing is easy, free, and confidential. There’s no reason for you to not know your status!