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Tag: hiv testing


5 Reasons Why You & Your Partner Should Get Tested Together


Most guys are pretty routine with their sexual health testing, but what happens to that routine when you’ve got a steady partner? Or a new partner? Instead of letting your testing behavior slump, why not consider Testing Together?

Here are four reasons you might want to consider Testing Together:

  1. QUICK, (MOSTLY) PAINLESS, & FREE – In about the time it would take the two of you to Netflix and Chill you and your partner can both get tested for HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. Your HIV test results are ready in as little as 20 minutes, with results for other STD screenings available in as little as 3-5 business days. Also, did we mention the tests are free of charge?
  2. STATUS UPDATE –Are you in a new relationship or have you added a new sexual partner into your rotation? Congrats! But unless you’ve both been tested during the last 24 hours, or have been abstinent since your last checkup, it’s a good idea to suggest mutual HIV/STI testing when starting a brand new relationship. Here at The Project, we use the Determine HIV test, which not only detects Antibodies but also detects Antigens, which could mean earlier detection for you and your partners. With this technology, you could both know your HIV status in as little as three weeks from your last unprotected sexual encounter or possible exposure to HIV. This way you’ll both have your most up-to-date HIV status – even if neither of you have had the time to update your relationship status on Facebook.
  3. TESTING BRINGS PEOPLE CLOSER – No, really. Whether you’ve been together 2 weeks or 2 years, learning how to have those conversations about testing habits and sexual health with a partner can be difficult. When you come in to test together with bae (boyfriend, partner, or whatever you call each other – because you’re “not into labels”), we can help you breach the subject. Doing this sets a standard for communication that can last throughout your entire relationship.
  4. OTHER PEOPLE –Whether you’re newly monogamous, choose to have a more open arrangement or recently stepped out on your fella – it’s time to get tested. This goes for whether you went all the way with your new playmate(s) or not. The truth is most guys won’t experience the classic symptoms of an STI and sex isn’t the only way to be exposed to an STI. Bacterial STIs like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can be passed between partners through something as simple as oral sex. Other STIs like Syphilis don’t even require intercourse; heavy petting is all it takes. This all means that you might be putting others at risk, and when you think about it like that, testing just makes sense.
  5. BECAUSE YOU’RE BOTH WORTH IT The bottom line: Relationships are hard, and finding those individuals you want to keep in your life can be even harder. When you finally do find them, you want to protect them and you’d hope that they would want to protect you too. Getting tested is a quick and easy way to provide that protection and says a lot about where you stand. When you Test Together, what you’re actually saying is “I’m worth it, and I think you’re worth it too”.
Valentines day Testing Together



Sign up & complete “Testing Together” with your partner during the week leading up to Valentines Day (February 8th -12th).

CLICK HERE to learn more.


Here’s What’s Up: Week of September 28th

It is the last week of September, it seemed like the month just flew by.

Last Saturday’s mobile testing event was a success.  We’ve provided 32 rapid HIV test.  We want to thank The Blazing Saddle, The Garden Nightclub, and other businesses in the East Village for their support.

Free HIV/STI Testing

This week’s testing clinic schedule is as follows:

Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Primary Health Care – Ames Clinic (3510 Lincoln Way)

  • Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (HIV test only, no STI screening available at this time. No appointments needed.)

LOL – Live Out Loud 2015

Sunday, November 8 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Doors open @ 6:30)

 Wooly’s (504 E Locust St, East Village)

Enjoy live music and exclusive performances from Des Moines’ best entertainers.
Spend your Sunday evening with The Project and celebrate nearly 3 decades of the community coming together to improve the lives of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Purchase your tickets today by filling out the form below. 


Here’s What’s Up: Week of August 3rd

I can’t believe it’s already August. Where did the summer go? I swear it was just Memorial Day a hot second ago. Next thing you know it’ll be Labor Day. But before then, here’s what’s up at Project HIM this week.



Our FREE HIV/STI Testing Clinic is back on its regular schedule. We offer Chlamydia/Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and HIV screening.

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 9 AM – 4 PM
  • Tuesday: 4 PM – 8 PM
  • Friday: 9 AM – 2 PM

CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment. You can also schedule an appointment for a PrEP consultation.


Live Out Loud

Members of the Live Out Loud (aka The Benefit) planning committee will meet this Wednesday at 5:30 PM at our 1200 University office.

You can still join the committee and help us plan this amazing event. If you are interested in joining the committee, or to learn more about the event, contact Callen Ubeda at 515-248-1591 or via email at

Live Out Loud is Sunday, November 8th at Wooly’s.


Red Hot Party

This Thursday, August 8th is The Project’s 23rd Annual Red Hot Party from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM at the Iowa State Bar Association (map).

Sample food from area restaurants, drinks, and live music. Rekha Basu of the Des Moines Register and York Taenzer will be the night’s honorees. This annual celebration raises money for central Iowans living with HIV/AIDS.

Tickets are only $40 and can be purchased on eTapestry or at the venue on the day of the event.


Why Testing Together Is Important

Concurrent Partnerships and HIV Risk Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in New York City


A study in NYC shows that concurrent partnerships are a significant public health concern among men who have sex with men (MSM). The study describes the prevalence of concurrency and its association with serodiscordant/serostatus unknown unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse (SDUI) among MSM in New York City.


A total of 1458 MSM completed a social and sexual network inventory about their male and female sex partners, including concurrency, in the last 3 months. Logistic regression identified factors associated with SDUI.


29 – The median age of the participants.

23.5% – The proportion of participants who reported being HIV+.

3.2 – The reported mean of male partners in the last 3 months.

16.6% – The proportion of MSM who reported having recent SDUI.

63.2% – Described having concurrent sex partners (individual concurrency based on overlapping dates of relationships).

71.5% –  reported having partners whom they believed had concurrent partners (perceived partner concurrency).

56.1% – reported that both they and their partners had concurrent partners (reciprocal concurrency).


Among HIV+ men by self-report, having SDUI was positively associated with individual concurrency, any alcohol use during sex, having more male sex partners, and not having a main partner. Among self-reported HIV− men, having SDUI was positively associated with perceived partner concurrency, lower education level, any alcohol and drug use during sex, having more male sex partners, and having an anonymous partner.


Concurrency was common among MSM. The association of SDUI with individual and perceived partner concurrency, along with substance use during sex, having an anonymous partner, and having many sex partners likely further increases HIV acquisition and transmission risk among MSM. HIV prevention interventions should address concurrency among MSM.


Ready to get tested? Click here to schedule your appointment.


National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10,2014


HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue for women and girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. Of those people, one in four (25%) is a woman 13 or older. Approximately 27,000 women have HIV but do not know they have the disease.


National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance that sheds light on the disease’s impact on women and girls.


Encourage the women and girls in your life to get tested and know their status. Project HIM offers free & confidential HIV & STD screening here in Central Iowa. Click here to go to our get-tested page to schedule an appointment.


Learn more by visiting this website:

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day |


A Gay Man’s Guide To HIV & STD Testing







Putting The At Home HIV Test Kit To The Test

There has been a lot of talk about at-home testing lately. In fact, a few people who have been newly diagnosed as HIV positive have found out their initial result through an in-home test. Now, I have been tested several times, both for personal reasons and also because I seem to be the guinea pig whenever we have someone new who is learning the procedure, but I have never taken the at-home variety. I figured I would see what all the fuss is about and see how the process went.


Come along with me… won’t you?

Come along with me… won’t you?

First off, there are a couple different ways of acquiring the test. You can go into a pharmacy and request one (they are usually behind the counter) or buy one on the internet. The price is pretty comparable, so it’s really about preference or accessibility. Not everyone is going to have the ability to waltz into a gay-friendly pharmacy and feel empowered enough to purchase one.  Unfortunately, the Wal-Mart pharmacy in BFE rural Iowa miiiiiight not carry them. And even if they do, a lot of people in those communities might not be comfortable asking for one.


visit: for more information

visit: for more information


For purposes of this article, I went ahead and ordered a test online. It came in a discreet package and arrived within a couple days. I settled in and got to business. The plastic case it came in was very official and the instructions were pretty user-friendly. Granted, I test people for HIV as part of my job, but even if I had never done it before I feel that I would have been just fine. Luckily, it was an oral swab test (if you couldn’t already tell by the product name, OraQuick) so that user error is reduced. At the office, we poke people’s fingers and take a small drop of blood for our antibody test. That works great in a clinic setting, but I can’t imagine that the average person would be too thrilled to puncture their own finger. I mean, I would probably pass out if I had to.


 The oral swab means it’s sanitary, safe, easy, and the lack of blood means that the risk of HIV-infected fluid isn’t present. And like I said, the instructions were easy to understand. But even though I “knew” my status going into this process (I had been tested very recently) it’s still a nerve-racking experience. As anyone who has gone to a doctor or clinic or AIDS organization for testing knows, even when you think you “know” it makes you sweat a little. So, being by myself during this process was a little intense. What if I messed up? What if I’m positive?


Instructions on how to read your test results.

The OraQuick company gives detailed instructions on what to do if your result is reactive, but how would it feel if you found out you were positive while you were home alone in your bathroom like me?

OraQuick provides a toll-free support hotline if you are to test positive.

I know I’m a little biased, but I think if I tested positive I would want someone with me. Someone who could explain the process and next steps to me. Someone who could hold my hand or give me a hug or be there if I needed anything. And while having access to an in-home test is beneficial for those who don’t have access to testing resources, face stigma in their community, or don’t have open-minded doctors, I feel that when given the option, I would rather get a test with a real human being. I know a lot of you have used in-home tests before and it might work well with your lifestyle and schedule. So share your thoughts and experiences, would you?


To schedule a free and confidential HIV and STD test, visit our “Get Tested” page on our website. 


New Testing Hours for 2013

New hours starting in 2013!
Mondays: 9am-2pm (walk-ins welcome)
Wednesdays: 11am-7pm (walk-ins welcome)
Fridays: 9am-2pm (by appointment only)


Message from Greg- July 2013

Greg - HIV Program DirectorProject HIM debuted Troy’s video at Pride. In the video, Troy shared that someone he slept with had been with an HIV + partner and that he was nervous about the possible risk of HIV. What wasn’t shared was that Troy was nervous because he’d slipped up and had sex without a condom with the guy he slept with.

This omission caused a stir on Project HIM’s Facebook page. Some comments on Facebook made it clear that there were people living with HIV that were hurt by the content of the video. A few of the comments became heated to the point where battle lines were drawn between those who are HIV-positive and those who work to prevent HIV. (To read all the comments, see the June 9th post on Project HIM’s Facebook page. Link)

Divisiveness hurts us all.

We apologize to those who were hurt by the video. Project HIM staff care about people –whether you’re positive, negative, or don’t know your status. In response to the expressed hurt, the video was temporarily disabled.

Truth be told, there’s more to the video. Another segment that explains Troy’s slip ups and gives some background about Troy isn’t through with our videographer’s refinements yet. When it is, the two segments of the video will be presented together.

Notably, all the videos produced by Project HIM and any educational materials we distribute undergo a mandatory review process by the Materials Review Committee for the Iowa Department of Public Health. In addition, Project HIM’s advisory committee, a group of gay men of various ages, professional backgrounds, and varying HIV status, review and provide feedback on each video’s content.

Inevitably though, questions still surface: How do we react when the personal stories shared by others aren’t exactly how we (as HIV prevention staff) think we might respond (armed with the knowledge and experience of working in the field of HIV prevention)? Do we jump in and explain—or uphold the dignity and worth of each person’s story —as it is? There’s no perfect answer.

Each misstep is an opportunity for healing and change.

Project HIM hopes to make the hurt and anger —the underlying passion—a starting place for conversation. Do we have to stigmatize HIV in order to prevent HIV? How can we work together as a community? These are the questions we’d like to discuss at a forum this fall that brings together HIV prevention, HIV care, those living with HIV, and those who are not. We can’t move forward together if we don’t tackle the thorns that keep hurting us.

Before Troy’s story was debuted, Project HIM and its advisory committee developed the summer campaign “Know Pride. Know your status.” We wanted to take away the stigma of HIV status and emphasize the importance of knowing what your status is. A disproportionate amount of new HIV infections happen because of those who have HIV but don’t know it. People who are HIV +, know that they are, and are getting treatment, aren’t spreading the virus and chances are they’ll live a long and healthy life—just as Troy astutely notes at the end of his second video.

Pride is knowing. Pride is taking charge of your health—whether you’re negative or positive. At this critical time in history, having experienced the repeal the of DOMA, what better to do than to take pride in who we are and push the stigmas we’ve all felt to the periphery—while we move toward the center. Where we can stand united.