Frequently Asked Questions

Once I have joined the study, will my information be kept private?

Yes. Keeping your information private and confidential is of the utmost importance to us. In addition to receiving your test results (e.g. HIV test results, STI test results, etc.), we will be asking you some personal questions about drugs, sex, (rock and roll), etc. This information will not be shared with anyone outside of the SWERVE staff team*. Each participant will be assigned a unique identification number, which will be used instead of identifying information (e.g. name, birth date, etc.) when analyzing our data for research purposes.

*It is a Michigan state law that laboratories and providers must report all positive HIV/STI tests to the local health department.

What will my experience as a study participant be like?

As a study participant, you will meet with us at a location near you once every 3 months for 18 months (seven visits total). Before or during each visit, you will be asked to take an online survey, which should take about 30-45 minutes. At visits 1, 2 and 7, we will be offering free HIV testing, and we will also offer free STI testing at visit 7. Participants will receive $25 in cash after each of the first two visits and $30 in cash after each of the remaining five visits. Throughout the study, we hope to get to know you and answer any questions you might have.

Should I get tested for HIV?

All adults should be tested for HIV as part of routine health care, but sexually active gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).

For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/testing.html

Should I get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

If you are sexually active, getting tested for STIs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Make sure you have an open and honest conversation about your sexual history and STI testing with your doctor and ask whether you should be tested for STIs. If you are not comfortable talking with your regular health care provider about STIs, there are many clinics that provide confidential and free or low-cost testing.

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Do condoms protect against HIV and STIs?

Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk of sexually transmitted infection (STI) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission.

Condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STI. Many infected persons may be unaware of their infection because STIs often are asymptomatic and unrecognized.

For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/docs/condomfactsheetinbrief.pdf

What is PrEP or an "Anti-HIV Medicine"?

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is daily medicine that can reduce your chance of getting HIV.

PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.

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For help paying for PrEP:

I am living with HIV. How can I stay healthy?

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life.

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What is anti-retroviral therapy (ART)?

HIV treatment involves taking medicines that slow the progression of the virus in your body. HIV is a type of virus called a retrovirus, and the drugs used to treat it are called antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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Where can I find Health Insurance?

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To apply for health insurance on the federal exchange: