HI virus: Testing weeks in Bavaria aim to raise HIV awareness

The dominant virus of the last three years was Corona. The test weeks in Bavaria should now bring more attention to HIV. Who should be tested and how it works.

Whenever there was talk of the virus in the last nearly three years, it was mostly about him Corona. Regular tests have become part of everyday life. Has it also affected HIV testing behaviour? Or does attention to HIV tend to wane?

Ulrike Alban from the AWO Center for AIDS in Swabia observed that attitudes towards the corona and HIV are often different: when it comes to the corona, many people think that they can only protect themselves against the infection poorly. As a result, attention was high for a long time. On the other hand, HIV seems to many to be more of a problem for at-risk groups – not one that can affect everyone. “We want people to realize that there are no risk groups, only risk behaviors.” It is not, as is often claimed, that mainly homosexuals are infected, but unprotected sex in itself poses a risk.

Experts are concerned about the rising number of HIV infections during the coronavirus pandemic

Alban, who is also the deputy spokesperson for the HIV specialist conference, is concerned Bayern is: The number of HIV infections could increase. Firstly, because people who had unprotected sex during the lockdown may have been ashamed and therefore not taken the test. And also because health authorities could only test for HIV within their means at the height of the pandemic. This, according to Alban, gave rise to the “Bermuda Triangle of undiscovered sexually transmitted diseases”. It remains to be seen how the data on HIV infection will develop if more testing can be done again now.

This should be done more now. Under the slogan “Test Now!” asks the Bavarian Ministry of Health for weekly HIV testing in Bavaria. The main emphasis is on rapid and laboratory tests for HIV. The AWO Center for AIDS in Swabia is also involved in this. But when are these tests really useful?

HIV: This is how HIV rapid tests and laboratory tests work

If you want to get tested for HIV, you can get a rapid test or a lab test. According to Ulrike Albanová, both can be done anonymously. If the last high-risk contact occurred more than twelve weeks ago, the HIV test can be done directly with a test cassette like the Corona one, and there is no need to go to the laboratory. A blood test is required for this. The result can be read after 15 to 20 minutes. If the rapid test is positive, a laboratory test follows.

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Blood is also taken for laboratory testing for HIV. This is evaluated in the laboratory. Laboratory tests can detect HIV as early as six weeks after the last risky contact. The result is usually available the next day after the blood sample is sent.

Both tests can be performed free of charge at any health department in Bavaria. After registration, it is also possible every day at the AWO Center for auxiliary work in Swabia. During the Bavarian HIV Test Weeks, a rapid test costs five euros and a laboratory test costs 25 euros.

Tests at the AWO center for AIDS work Swabia are held in Augsburg at Schaezlerstraße 36:

  • Rapid HIV tests: every Tuesday and Thursday in November from 3 to 6 p.m
  • laboratory tests on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases with medical advice on November 22, 2022 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The AWO Center asks you to register by phone on 0821-158081 and wear an FFP2 mask. More information about the Bavarian HIV testing weeks is available here. There are also test dates in Mindelheim and Kempten. Information on this is available here.

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