• HIV: Who Should Get Tested?

    Undergoing HIV testing is an important step in taking control of your sexual health and protecting your sexual partners. There is a misconception that testing is only for a select group of people, but in reality, everyone between the ages of 13 and 65 should be tested at least once in their lives. HIV testing can be performed quickly and confidentially in an urgent care center, so you can get the answers you want without even having to make an appointment with your primary care doctor. Some people may also benefit from more frequent HIV testing. If you’ve already had a negative test, you may need to be retested in these circumstances:  

    You have shared needles or other drug paraphernalia.  

    Sharing needles when injecting drugs can potentially expose you to blood from someone else. If that person has HIV, the virus could be transmitted to you via the shared needle. Although many people are aware of the potential of transmitting the virus via shared needles, what you may not know is that sharing other items, such as water or cotton used when taking drugs, can also be dangerous. If you have shared any drug paraphernalia that could have exposed you to blood from another person, you should consider getting tested. 

    You have had multiple sexual partners.  

    Having multiple sexual partners increases your risk of contracting all forms of STDs, including HIV. Your risk can be elevated further if you are a man who has had sex with another man, you’ve been treated for other STDs, or you’ve traded sex for drugs or money. You should also consider testing if your sexual partner has engaged in any of these behaviors.  

    You have had sex with someone who is HIV positive.  

    Having sex with someone who is HIV positive doesn’t mean that you have definitely contracted the virus, but it is possible. Even if you used protection, if you have had intercourse with someone who is HIV positive, you should get tested.  

    Paramount Urgent Care offers confidential HIV testing. Serving all of Orlando, Lake, Polk, Sumter, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. Please visit our website for a location near you ParamountUrgentCare.com or call (352) 674-9218.   

  • Diagnosed with HIV? Get the Facts About Antiretroviral Therapy

    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) refers to the use of medicines in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). If you have visited an urgent care center for HIV testing and been diagnosed with this disease, then read on to learn about getting treatment with ART.

    What It Does

    ART can help protect your health and extend your life if you have HIV by preventing the virus from growing and attacking your immune system. Also, taking HIV medicine can help protect others by reducing the risk of HIV transmission.

    When to Start

    Because ART can help people who have HIV live longer and healthier lives, it is recommended that people diagnosed with HIV begin their treatment as soon as possible. However, the need to begin ART is more urgent for individuals who have AIDS or certain coinfections or illnesses related to HIV. Also, pregnant women who are diagnosed with HIV should begin antiretroviral therapy to help protect their own health and prevent the transmission of HIV to their child. Finally, if you have had HIV for fewer than 6 months, then the viral load in your body is probably very high. Research suggests that getting treated with ART during early HIV infection can help you live a longer and healthier life.

    What to Know

    Before you begin your antiretroviral therapy, your healthcare provider will inform you of the risks and benefits of this option. It is important to realize that ART is not a cure for HIV, but a lifelong treatment that helps people live healthier and longer lives despite having the infection. After beginning your ART, strictly adhering to your treatment plan by taking your medicines when and as described is important for keeping the virus from multiplying and damaging your immune system.

    If you need urgent care in Orlando, Clermont, Oviedo, or Lady Lake, then look no further than Paramount Urgent Care. For details on our HIV testing and emergency care services, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • Diagnosed with HIV? Get the Facts About Antiretroviral Therapy

    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) refers to the use of medicines in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). If you have visited an urgent care center for HIV testing and been diagnosed with this disease, then read on to learn about getting treatment with ART.

    What It Does

    ART can help protect your health and extend your life if you have HIV by preventing the virus from growing and attacking your immune system. Also, taking HIV medicine can help protect others by reducing the risk of HIV transmission.

    When to Start

    Because ART can help people who have HIV live longer and healthier lives, it is recommended that people diagnosed with HIV begin their treatment as soon as possible. However, the need to begin ART is more urgent for individuals who have AIDS or certain coinfections or illnesses related to HIV. Also, pregnant women who are diagnosed with HIV should begin antiretroviral therapy to help protect their own health and prevent the transmission of HIV to their child. Finally, if you have had HIV for fewer than 6 months, then the viral load in your body is probably very high. Research suggests that getting treated with ART during early HIV infection can help you live a longer and healthier life.

    What to Know

    Before you begin your antiretroviral therapy, your healthcare provider will inform you of the risks and benefits of this option. It is important to realize that ART is not a cure for HIV, but a lifelong treatment that helps people live healthier and longer lives despite having the infection. After beginning your ART, strictly adhering to your treatment plan by taking your medicines when and as described is important for keeping the virus from multiplying and damaging your immune system.

    If you need urgent care in Orlando, Clermont, Oviedo, or Lady Lake, then look no further than Paramount Urgent Care. For details on our HIV testing and emergency care services, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.