HIV/STD Testing and Prevention Services
The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center offers free testing for HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
What should I be tested for?
◦HIV / AIDS
HIV continues to affect people of all ages and backgrounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone, regardless of risk factors, be tested for HIV. A person can have HIV for many years without having any symptoms. Many new infections in Rhode Island are among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. Significant progress has been made in the treatment and management of the disease, and in many cases, HIV can now be treated with a single pill. Serious complications of the disease can still occur, especially when HIV is diagnosed late. Yearly testing is recommended. More frequent testing is advised for those with multiple sexual partners (3-6 months).
Syphilis is an STD that is causing many new infections, especially among men who have sex with other men. Unlike HIV, syphilis can be easily transmitted through unprotected oral sex. If untreated, syphilis can lead to severe neurovascular symptoms and/or death. A simple blood test can detect syphilis, which can be cured with penicillin. Yearly testing is recommended. More frequent testing is advised for those with multiple sexual partners.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia affect both men and women from all backgrounds. In women, these STDs can cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease. Testing is performed through a urine test. Treatment can include both a pill and an injection. All sexually active men/women should be tested on a yearly basis.
Hepatitis C is usually transmitted through contaminated blood and can occasionally be transmitted through sex. Most cases of hepatitis C are from sharing intravenous drugs or intranasal cocaine. Users, or past users, of intravenous drugs or intranasal cocaine should be tested at least once.
The clinic is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
What do I do if I am exposed to HIV?
If you are exposed to someone whom you think may have HIV, you may be eligible for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP may prevent HIV infection if taken within 72 hours (3 days) of exposure. Please call our clinic for more information 401-793-2928.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Truvada was approved on July 16, 2012 for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection. Truvada is a single pill taken daily that can prevent a person from being infected with HIV. For questions regarding PrEP, please contact Philip A. Chan, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center
The Immunology Center at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, is the largest HIV and STD clinic in the state. The clinic provides comprehensive care to over 1,500 HIV patients by a team of physicians, nurses, social workers and case managers. The doctors at the clinic are leaders in the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and STDs. If transportation, lack of coverage or confidentiality is a concern, please call 401-793-2928 as resources are available.