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Category: Resources

7
Jan

Free HIV, STI Testing Now Available In Ames

Primary Health Care’s Story County clinic in Ames now offers free and confidential rapid HIV and STI screening.

Get Tested For:

TestingFAQHIV – 1 Minute INSTI HIV tests.

Syphilis –  blood draw (results in as little as 5 business days.)

Chlamydia –  urine test, throat and/or rectal swab (depending on the type of sex). results in as little as 5 business days.

Gonorrhea – urine test, throat and/or rectal swab (depending on the type of sex). results in as little as 5 business days.

Ames Testing

33510 Lincoln Way Ames, Iowa 50014 | Phone: (515) 232-0628 | Clinic Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

You do not need to be a patient of Primary Health Care.

The test is FREE.

No insurance information required!

Walk-ins are welcomed between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.

No appointments needed!

12
Aug

In Depression Talking Helps

Depression is more common than you might think. It affects many people in a variety of ways and is a serious, recognized condition. Gay/bisexual men are at greater risk for mental health problems. When depression happens, it quickly takes hold in the form of a series of mutually reinforcing habits. Depressed behavior in the form of avoidance and social withdrawal reinforces depressed feelings and the lethargy that often accompanies depression.

It can be hard to open up and be honest about how you are really feeling. You may be used to putting on a ‘front’ with others and pretending you are fine. However, this leaves you feeling isolated and alone, which makes things worse. These are some of the ways that talking to someone can make a difference:

 

  • Unburdening yourself – It can be a great relief to get things off your chest. For some people it helps a lot if they know things will be kept confidential (eg. talking to a professional).
  • Getting perspective – Voicing thoughts or fears is very useful in making sense of them and putting them into perspective.
  • Easing isolation – Dropping the mask, being honest and connecting with someone else on a real level helps to counter the isolating effect of depression.
  • Care and compassion – If you choose well who to talk to, you are much more likely to be offered care and compassion than the rejection or ridicule you may fear.
  • Useful advice – Depending on who you talk to, you may get some useful help or advice in return – and even if some of it isn’t useful, remember you don’t have to take it!
  • Strategies and ways forward –Talking and openness shines a bright light onto depression’s distortions and lies. As you talk, you start to develop understanding and strategies for tackling depression.
  • Support network – Different people offer different kinds of support, so talking to different people can help build up a useful support network.

 

Having a supportive group of friends and family members is often key to successfully dealing with the stressors of day-to-day life and maintaining good mental health. People who are unable to get social support from their friends and families can find it by becoming involved in community, social, athletic, religious, and other groups. Mental health counseling and support groups that are sensitive to the needs of gay/bi men can be especially useful to those who are coming to terms with their sexual orientation or experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems.

 

The stigma of depression can keep people from reaching out to a professional. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness or failure. Many gay and bisexual men also may not seek care from a mental health provider because of a fear from discrimination or homophobia. There are many mental health professionals who specialize in issues affecting LGBTQ individuals. It is important to seek help and try to find a provider that you can trust.

 

Project HIM offers CLEAR. A free counseling workshop for gay/bisexual men living with HIV. In CLEAR, you’ll work one-on-one with a counselor to practice skills and set goals that empower you to live the life you choose.

 

For additional help and information, please visit Project HIM’s Resources page.

 

Sources: Students Against Depression, CDC: Gay & Bisexual Men’s Health
Related Posts: Communication – Overcoming Dating Barriers,
4
Aug

What’s The First Thing I Need To Know Before Starting PrEP?

You should know your status!

Before starting PrEP

You must be HIV-1 negative and stay HIV-1 negative before starting a PrEP. That is why you must:

  • Get tested to be sure you are HIV-1 negative. It is important that you also get tested at least every 3 months as recommended by your healthcare provider while on PrEP.
  • Not be on PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV unless you are confirmed to be HIV-1 negative.
  • Have no symptoms like feeling weak or tired, fever, sweating a lot (especially at night), rash, vomiting, diarrhea, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, or enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or groin.
  • Be prepared to commit to adopting safer sex practices, such as correct use of condoms, limiting your sexual partners, knowing the HIV status of your sexual partners, and regular testing for HIV-1 (at least every 3 months) and other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and gonorrhea.
  • make sure you understand the risks and benefits of taking a PrEP indication, such as Truvada, and you have spoken with your healthcare provider about questions and concerns.

Related posts: (Re) Introducing PrEP

Source: Important Safety Information About TRUVADA for a Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Indication For Uninfected Individuals (Gilead Health Sciences, Inc.)
28
Jul

(Re) Introducing PrEP

By now, you should have heard of PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis). It’s the drug that significantly reduces someone’s risk of HIV. But like most people, you probably have a lot of questions about it.

 

Back when we had the “Ask Our Experts” section, Dr. Joe responded to a general inquiry about the drug. See “Ask Our Expert: A Pill To Prevent Getting HIV?” At the time, there were still a lot of debate surrounding it, some ethical, some practical. There are more information about the drug available today.

 

A few weeks ago,  the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug treatment that will help in the preventing HIV infection in uninfected people. We recently spoke to a representative from Gilead Science Inc., maker of Truvada, to fill us in on what we need to know about PrEP, including how effective it is and how it should be used.

 

Who should be on PrEP?

Truvada, which is the name of the drug, is approved for healthy, uninfected people who are at high risk of contracting HIV through sex. These include sex workers and people with partners who are HIV-positive or engage in high-risk behaviors. What are high risk-behaviors?

 

 

HIV-Risk-Spectrum-Infographics

See if PrEP is right for you! Take the PrEP Quiz here!

 

How effective is the drug in preventing HIV?

In one study, healthy gay and bisexual men who took Truvada daily and were counseled about safe sex practices lowered their risk of becoming infected by up to 42%. In another study involving heterosexual couples in which one partner was HIV-positive, the uninfected partner had a 75% lower risk of contracting HIV if they took Truvada.

 

Does Truvada cure AIDS?


No. The drug can treat people who are infected with HIV by lowering the amount of virus in their bodies and slowing down the progression of the disease. In healthy, uninfected people, the drug can thwart HIV’s ability to take hold in healthy cells and start an infection, by blocking the activity of an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate.

 

Here’s how I see it: Much like your car has seat belts, air bags, anti-lock breaks, etc.- that all together reduces your fatality risk from car accidents. PrEP is an additional tool, along with routine testing, using condoms, conversations with your partner(s) etc., in preventing HIV infection. 

 

 

More Questions?

PrEP Questions

We are working on putting together a guide to PrEP, similar to our Gay Man’s Guide To HIV & STD Testing.  Be sure to check back within the next few weeks.

 

In the meantime, if you have any questions about PrEP, including referrals to providers and drug assistance programs, feel free to contact us, or ask about it during your routine HIV & STD screening.

 

Schedule your appointment online. Use our test scheduler on our website. 

 

1
May

HIV Testing FAQ

HIVTestingFAQ_Web

27
Nov

A Gay Man’s Guide To HIV & STD Testing

HIV Testing GuideCLICK HERE FOR A DOWNLOADABLE/PRINTER-FRIENDLY PDF VERSION.

 

CLICK HERE FOR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HIV TESTING.

 

CLICK HERE FOR OTHER RESOURCES.