Towner County Public Health

HIV/STI Testing/Referral
Free confidential HIV testing and counseling is offered by a trained registerd nurse. Other services include: examinations, treatment and follow-up for infections and sexually transmitted infections.

HIV Testing and Counseling
HIV infection doesn't just happen. You won't get it through everyday contact iwth infected people at work, school, home or anywhere else. You get HIV by exposure to infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from another person. Once is all it takes! A test for HIV detects the presence of antibodies to the HIV virus. This is NOT a test for AIDS. The test does not tell you if you have AIDS; it does show if you have been infected with the virus which can cause AIDS. Testing for HIV is done by a finger stick blood sample. Results are ready in less than 20 minutes. A negative test result means that no HIV antibodies have been foundd because a) you have not been infected with the virus, or b) you are infected, but your body has not yet produced sufficient antibodies to result in a positive test. Antibodies may not develop for several weeks. You could still pass the infection on to others. A positive test result means HIV antibodies have been found. You have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. You can pass the virus to other people during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or while sharing drug needles. If you are pregnant or become pregnant, you could pass the virus on to your baby.

If you answer "yes" to any of the following or are concerned about your HIV status; you should be tested.

Have you ever had unprotected sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with a man or woman who:

  • You know was infected with HIV?
  • Injects or has injected drugs?
  • Shared needles with someone who was infected?
  • Had multiple sex partners?
  • You normally wouldn't have sex with?
  • Hoave you ever used needles or syringes that were used by anyone before you?
  • Have you ever given or received sex for drugs or money?
  • Did you or any of your partners receive treatment for hemophilia or have a blood transfusion or oran transplant from 1978 through 1985?

The following resources offer additional information:
North Dakota Department of Health HIV/AIDS Program 1.800.70.NDHIV
The Body: Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
AIDS Meds
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are the most commonly reported infectious diseases in North Dakota and the United States. People become infected with STIs when they have sexual contact with an infected person. STIs caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. These include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. If diagnosis is made early, they are easier to treat. Early dagnosis and treatment are important to prevent complications. SITs caused by viruses cannot be cured. These include Genital Warts, Genital Herpes, Hepatitis B and HIV. Treatment can help symptoms. Untreated STIs or repeated infections are one of the leading causes of infertility (the inability to become pregnant).

You may be at an increased risk of developing an STI if:

  • You have multiple sexual partners
  • You have a new sexual partner
  • Your sexual partner now has or has had other sexual partners
  • You do not use condoms correctly and consistently

Symptoms of STIs vary with each disease. You may feel no symptoms at all. If you have an STI, you can infect your partner, even if you do not have symptoms or know that you have the disease. Symptoms are:

  • Painful urination
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain in females
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Sores or lesions in the genital or anal area
  • Painful intercourse

To protect yourself from acquiring or transmitting an STI: abstain from having sex - this is the surest way to avoid STIs. If you are secually active: limit your number of sexual partners; do not have sex when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol; do not have sex with someone you don't know; use a latex condom correctly and consistently each time you have sexual intercourse; if you think you have an STI - stop having sex until you are seen by a health care professional.

To make a confidential appointment for education, evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for HIV/STI, contact us by phone. For all other questions, contact us by email.