Frequently Asked Questions

What Ryan White Programs are offered in the State of South Dakota?

The State of South Dakota receives funding statewide for Part B of the Ryan White federal grant and eastern South Dakota has funding for Part C of the Ryan White grant.

What is HIV?

HIV stand for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is an infection that attacks the immune system and takes away the bodies ability to fight off infections. HIV affects the CD4 cells, specifically and leaves the person unable to fight of infections and illness.

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

AIDS stands for Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the advance stage of HIV. AIDS is defined as having a CD4 count of less than 200.  A healthy CD4 count is between 500-1600.

Who is at risk for hiv?

ANYONE who engages in activities such as unprotected oral, vaginal, and anal sex or shares needles with someone who has HIV. HIV can also be transmitted from mother to child if the mother is HIV positive and is not currently taking medication for HIV.  The best ways to lower your risk is to practice safe sex, know your status, and be tested regularly. 

Is there a cure for hiv?

There in no cure for HIV. There is, however, effective medications that can be taken that will treat HIV. It is very important that these medications, call antiretroviral therapy (ART), are taken as instructed to be effective. If an individual follows their treatment plan it is possible that someone can live a long and healthy life with HIV.

my partner has hiv but i do not. what can we do to prevent transmission?

HIV is spread through direct contact with semen, blood, vaginal and rectal fluids. It is important to tell your partner about your HIV status. In order to prevent the spread of HIV the best way is to wear a condom when having sex. The HIV positive partner should take their medication every day as prescribed so their viral load stays low. There are medications that the HIV negative partner can take in order to help reduce the transmission rate. These medication are called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) 

Do my medications have to come from the ADAP pharmacy?

If you want ADAP to cover the costs of any medication you are prescribed that is on the South Dakota ADAP formulary you must utilize the central pharmacy. Your medications are mailed directly to your home or you can have them mailed to the Heartland Health office for you to pick up. All medications you are prescribed will arrive to you the next business day by regular USPS mail.

Is there a support group in the area?

Yes! We are currently offering support group the last Thursday of every month from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at our office location. This is a closed group and attendees must be HIV Positive. If you have any questions regarding the structure of the support group, please contact us.

What type of Rapid test do you use at Heartland Health to test for hiv?

We use the Clearview COMPLETE HIV 1/2 assay. The link contains a video from YouTube on what getting a rapid HIV test is like.

What should I know about the Clearview COMPLETE HIV 1/2 assay and how is it done?

The Clearview COMPLETE HIV 1/2 assays are fast and accurate test that provide easy-to-read test results in 15 to 20 minutes. The Clearview COMPLETE HIV 1/2 assay is used to look for antibodies in a sample of your blood. Once you decide to be tested your social worker will collect a sample drop of blood from your finger in order to begin the test.  You will receive the results during this same visit.  The Clearview COMPLETE HIV 1/2 assay is very accurate; however, additional testing is necessary to confirm a reactive result.  For more detail, you can ask your social worker to give you complete information about the Clearview Complete HIV 1/2 assay and/or review the video link above.

What should you know about your test results after having the Clearview COMPLETE HIV 1/2 assay?

A negative result means that HIV antibodies were not detected in your blood at the time of the testing. However, this does not completely rule out the possibility of infection with HIV. HIV antibodies may not appear until a few months after infection with the virus. A very recent infection may not produce enough antibodies to be detected by this test, a Negative test result means you were not infected with HIV at the time of testing. It is recommended that an individual retests for HIV up to 3 months after possible exposure.

A preliminary positive or reactive test result suggests that your blood may contain HIV antibodies. This result, however, must be confirmed by another test. Until your HIV test is confirmed, you should be careful to avoid activities that might spread HIV. If your test result is confirmed positive (HIV-infected), new treatments can help you maintain your health. 

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