Project ARK offers In-home (self) and Office-based HIV testing.
We offer a free in-home HIV test that you can take at home. You must be at least 18 years old, have a MO shipping address, and agree to share your test result with Project ARK. One kit can be sent per person.
To request a free HIV test kit, you have two options:
(1) Complete a secure online request, or
(2) Call (314) 203-3700 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
With both options, we will need to gather some information from you by phone before we can ship out the kit (2-3 days) or arrange a time for you to pick it up at our office (4169 Laclede).
Once you receive the kit, you can then do the test on your own or while on the phone with a testing specialist. Either way, we will follow up to obtain your test result and offer additional resources that you may need, such as other STI testing, PrEP referrals or linkage to HIV care.
Call (314) 203-3700 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) at any point in the process for assistance or to ask questions.
Office Based Testing:
To schedule an appointment, you can call The SPOT Medical Team on Mon, Wed, Thurs, or Fri right at 9am at (314) 535-0413 x 220 to be assessed for a same day afternoon appointment. Appointments will be filled on a first come, first serve basis and once all slots are filled you will need to call on another day to schedule.
Additional Local HIV/STI Testing and Treatment:
For other free or low cost HIV/STI testing and STI treatment options, view this St. Louis Testing/Treatment Guide. Most sites are only offering appointments (no walk-ins) at this time and we advise calling ahead to find out how to schedule.
The first step in protecting yourself and others from HIV and STD infection is to learn the facts.
The next step is to get tested.
Project ARK currently offers on-site testing for HIV and Syphilis; and can provide you with a referral to a free/low cost Chlamydia and Gonorrhea testing site.
There are several different types of HIV tests, but the most common type is a rapid or conventional blood test. HIV blood tests use a sample of blood, either from a finger prick or a larger sample often taken from the inner arm, to test for antibodies or antigens.
Traditional HIV test results can take one to two weeks to come back from a lab, but rapid tests are now widely available that can provide a result in about 20 minutes.
Project ARK currently offers a rapid finger prick and blood draw testing methods.
Most HIV tests check for antibodies that the body produces once infected with HIV. Antibodies are cells produced by the body’s immune system to fight off all different kinds of infections, including HIV. If an HIV test detects HIV antibodies, a person is infected with HIV. If antibodies are not present, a person is likely not HIV infected. But, it can take as long as three to six months for the body to develop enough antibodies to show up on a test.
The time period between becoming infected with HIV and a positive HIV test result is called the “window period.” During this “window period” you could test negative for HIV but still be infected with HIV and able to transmit the virus to others. Therefore, it is important to get tested (or re-tested) after a sufficient period of time has passed to know for sure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HIV testing for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 (especially if you are sexually active or have never been tested). This does not mean though that testing is done automatically when you see a health care provider even if you have blood drawn. The only way to know for sure you are being tested is to ask to be tested.
HIV testing is also recommended for all pregnant women as a routine part of prenatal care. A woman who has HIV and is pregnant can take certain medications during pregnancy that, combined with medical care, can significantly lower the chances of passing HIV to her baby.
HIV testing at Project ARK is FREE. Visit http://gettested.cdc.gov/ for other testing sites near you.
The most important thing to do if you test negative is to stay negative. Use condoms each and every time you have sex—vaginal, anal, or oral—no exceptions. Get tested regularly, talk to your partners about HIV and ask that they get tested with you. You want to make sure that they know you’re watching out for their health and yours. If you use needles, don’t share them.
With the availability of treatments today, you can lead a long and healthy life as an HIV positive person. The most important thing to do if you test positive is to get connected with services and support as soon as possible. Advances in HIV/AIDS treatment are occurring all the time, and medical treatment and a healthy lifestyle can help you stay well much longer than in the early years of the epidemic. But, the longer you wait after testing positive to see a health care provider, the greater your chance of developing serious health problems.
If you’ve tested positive, here are some important steps to take to protect your health:
For more information about how Project ARK can help you if you or a loved one is living with HIV/AIDS click here.
Project ARK offers HIV testing on a walk-in basis from Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 4:00PM . If you cannot make it in during our walk-in hours, please feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment.