The Source For Possibly the Best and Cheapest STD Testing Available

Fri, 08/21/2009 - 11:32
Submitted by Eric Amaranth

Before I begin I want to make it clear that I am -not- HIV positive, to eliminate any confusion below.

Here's a story I tell most of my lovers, present and past, at some point in our relationship:

The current HIV test, the antibody test, is in my opinion and for my body and sex partners, not good enough. The major downside to the test is it can take at least three months or up to a year for some people, from the last time you had sex with a partner who could possibly be infected with HIV knowingly or unknowingly, to get an accurate test result via the antibody test. This is the test they use in free clinics and doctor's offices and is covered by insurance.

However, a better test exists that tells you within two weeks of sex if you are positive for HIV. The results are very accurate. It's the test the doctors and clinic will run on you after you get a positive on the antibody test to bake sure you're truly HIV positive. Why not use the better test to begin with? Because the insurance companies wont pay for it unless your results come back positive from the antibody test. If you want to get it done in a doctor's office, the test price is close to $500.00. Which is unacceptable of course.

Here's what highly concerns me: If I have regular sex with different lovers, and I was theoretically was infected with the virus and that  infection-time sex date didn't fall into that three to six month range for the test to work properly, I will go get tested and it will come back negative. I'll think I'm good to go and walk out on the street and possibly spread the virus for one big reason. Viral load is very high when you are first infected and drops when your body responds with antibodies. The higher the viral load, the easier it is to infect other partners. So three or maybe more months go by and I'm HIV positive with a high viral load. There have been many occasions where people go to sex parties and they havent been tested in a year or more. On top of that, even if I test like clockwork every three months, what if the test doesn't pick up my positive status that time around? Even more time thinking I'm negative.

The better test is called the PCR-DNA test for HIV. And that's where my testing source of choice comes in: www.aim-med.org. This organization was launched by the woman I pictured above, Dr. Sharon Mitchell, who was once in the adult industry in a time before aim-med.org existed and saw the need for teh adult industry's talent to remain as safe as possible. The test price for the PCR-DNA test for HIV is under $150.00 with them. It's not deductible, but it's much lower than it otherwise would be. aim-med.org also offers the full range of STD testing, including PCR-DNA testing for other STD's. Those tests are much cheaper.

For me, it's the cost of enjoying a non-monogamous sex life. I mean, people pay lots of money for sporting equipment, lessons, physical therapy from injuries, money for hobbies and luxuries. This is no different and of higher priority than all of the above if you are in a non-monogamous part of life. They have an option for people in the adult industry and those outside.

On a related tangent, I got my hepatits A and B vaccinations several years ago because hep A and B are over three times more contagious than HIV and much more common, last I researched. It can be spread through saliva, if I'm not mistaken, which again, creates more of a threat than the specter HIV. Hepatitis doesnt get nearly the amount of press that it deserves after HIV's overshadowing. Consider the alarm raised. Do some reasearch on hep A and B. You dont want either, I promise you. One more very uncommonly known fact: hep A immunity is forever (so far) but hep B immunity will wain over 5 to 7 years time. So, when I went to my doctor for blood work, I specifically requested the blood test that determined my immunity to hep A and B. You must request it from your doctor specifically.

Be well and safe.

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It's true...during that

Tue, 08/25/2009 - 00:48
Anonymous User (not verified)

It's true...during that 3-month window it's extremely important for people who think they've been exposed to HIV to use condoms or refrain from having sex. Three months might be a long time to go without sex, but as a sexually active person, it's your responsibility to keep yourself and your partners safe, so in the long run 3 months of protected sex isn't that big of a deal in my opinion.

Good idea mentioning Hepatitis...it is more common and transmissible than HIV AND you can easily prevent it with the vaccine.

This clinic Closed down in May 11'

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 05:27
Julie Baker (not verified)

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/05/porn-industry-health-clini...

Here is an article detailing why this place was shut down permanently earlier this year.
Sorry guys.

-julie

Julie's right and more info

Eric Amaranth's picture
Fri, 09/23/2011 - 13:52

Yes, it's official. Aim-med.org is gone. Until another organization like it crops up, another source I found for the PCR-DNA test for HIV, the only one I consider to be worth using, is at www.sexualhealth.com for the not so low price of $300.00 in NYC, NJ, and RI. Everywhere else in the country it's $200.00. The Aim-med.org price was around $100 for industry and around 200 for  non-industry.

www.sexualhealth.com does the strange practice of giving you an antibody test to verify the results of the PCR test. That's what the rep on the phone said. That's backwards and useless. Makes me wonder about them. Still, their testing may be sound even if their understanding of the tests themselves isn't. People are only human, right? All I care about is if the test is accurate. Last I heard, the PCRDNA test in a Dr's office is $500 out of pocket because the insurance companies refuse to pay for it unless you're positive on the antibody test. Thanks, guys. You'll pay for the good test once the crap test comes through and after more people have a higher chance of being infected because it takes way too long for the crap test to actually work....

Again, how many people can afford to pay $200 to $300 for their HIV STD testing alone? That means more antibody testing, which is useless, as I've written, until after three months to six months after infection, depending on the individual. The PCR test will tell you within 2 weeks of infection. Not that it's a shield for you. It's moreso a shield for others insofar as the time it takes you to find out if you're positive. Still, two weeks can for some people be all the time you need to infect new partners as HIV is most contagious early in the infection, or so I once researched. But, 2 weeks is much better than three to six months.

If any one finds a new source for reasonably affordable PCRDNA testing, let me know.

Good points

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 20:50

The doctors I work for recommend the hepatitis A and B series for our HIV patients. If you've never been vaccinated, I would suggest Twinrix because it has both. Sometimes the doctor will say a person has to get the A and the B seperate, but that's rare. Even for our exposure patients we generally order the antibody test as opposed to the viral load (RNA PCR) at day 0, 6 weeks, and 6 months. I will ask my doctors why the PCR test isn't used more for screening. My personal favorite is when the lab screws up and performs the antibody test on a patient who's been positive for 20 years. As far as the question of the affordable RNA PCR testing (HIV is a retrovirus- it has RNA as opposed to DNA- sorry had to get my geek out), I will look into it but it will be a couple of weeks. We have ordered a viral load for a patient who's antibody test was repeatedly negative along with a lymphocyte panel but I don't know if insurance covered it.

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