HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), a disease that destroys the body's ability to fight off infections. HIV testing, and counseling and education is available.
The main ways HIV is spread is through sexual contact with a person infected with HIV or using a needle contaminated with HIV-infected blood. There is treatment for HIV/AIDS but there is no cure.
Testing for HIV is available at low cost at the RBJ Health Center clinic. For other testing locations in Austin, check the flyer. Click here for a monthly calendar of the mobile outreach van testing locations. Same day test results are usually available.
HIV Counseling and Education
The Counseling program works to reduce the spread of HIV by providing free confidential or anonymous counseling and testing. We provide testing for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis C, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. The Comprehensive Risk and Counseling Services program provides individual counseling for high risk clients. These confidential services are provided free of charge. Call the clinic to apply.
Outreach case management services are provided wherever the client is located, for clients who may lack transportation or daycare services. Services for HIV-infected persons who are homeless, pregnant, or under the age of 13 include medical case management, crisis stabilization, advocacy, and referrals to social service agencies. Prevention case management provides long-term counseling and medical case management to clients who consider themselves to be at a high risk of contracting or transmitting HIV and want to address high-risk behaviors.
Community educationprovides prevention and educational services through community groups. Health educators focus on HIV prevention, signs and symptoms of HIV, and referrals for screening and treatment, and distribute harm-reduction materials, such as condoms, to those who might be at high risk for contracting HIV. Community outreach takes places in settings such as neighborhoods, parks, bars, and homeless camps.
The HIV/AIDS Surveillance effort identifies the number of new HIV and AIDS cases in Travis County as well as certain behavior patterns and other risk factors that lead to HIV infection. Statistics are used in policy making for planning future services and are reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Surveillance efforts follows strict procedures to ensure the security and confidentiality of HIV/AIDS case reports.
The HIV Resource Administration Unit is responsible for procuring HIV/AIDS primary medical care, treatment, and health-related support services for the City of Austin-funded HIV Prevention and Care Services, as well as multiple federal grants, including Ryan White Part A and the Minority AIDS initiative, Ryan White Part C, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS.
The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department will comply with all federal and state laws that pertain to any aspect of the clinical practices or business procedures of the Department. In particular, privacy and security rules relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), along with related state laws, are integral to matters of privacy, medical records, the confidentiality of communications, and other topics addressed throughout these policies and procedures.