The Drop-In Center provides free rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to about 5:00 p.m. with the last test beginning at 4:30 p.m. Please plan to spend about 30 minutes at the Drop-In Center for your test. Usually, there is no wait to be tested. We are closed Wednesday, but accept pre-arranged appointments; all testing is strictly walk-in and on a first-come, first-served basis.
About HIV Testing
The OraQuick tests require a small sample of blood from a fingerstick. This is an HIV antibody test. When someone becomes infected with HIV, the immune system produces HIV antibodies in an attempt to fight off the virus. Research has shown it can take up to 6 months for the HIV antibodies to be detected on an HIV test. This 6 month window period applies with all HIV tests. If you have become infected with HIV within the last 6 months, it is possible that it may not show up on an HIV antibody test. Based on your risk factors, your test counselor may recommend that you return for a follow-up testing to get you outside that window period.
The OraQuick tests were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are highly accurate. The entire testing process takes about 30 minutes. The OraQuick rapid test can provide us with preliminary results in 20 minutes. All testing is accompanied by HIV prevention counseling.
If you are interested in getting tested, you can come by the Drop-In Center any time during business hours. There is no appointment necessary, except for Wednesdays. If you have questions related to HIV or STDs, you can call our confidential information line at 540-982-2437.
About HCV Testing
The Drop-In Center also now offers free rapid hepatitis C (HCV) testing. This test is similar to the HIV test, and the sample required is blood from a fingerstick. The HCV test takes 20 minutes to process, and the entire testing process, like the HIV test, is about 30 minutes. You can test for HCV at the same time as your HIV test.
HCV is a viral infection of the liver. HCV is often transmitted through injection drug use, unprofessional tattooing, sharing snorting tools or pipes for drug use, or even from sharing everyday items such as razors, fingernail clippers, or other items that could have traces of blood on them. Certain populations, such as Baby Boomers, should also be tested for HCV if they do not know their status. For more information about if you should test for HCV, click here to take a quick risk assessment from the CDC.
Testing in the New River Valley
The Drop-In Center maintains a satellite office at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Virginia for residents of the New River Valley. The office is located on the 2nd floor of Schiffert Health Center and testing is on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of every month from 9am to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. For an appointment or more information, please call the Center at 540-982-2437 and press 4.
The Drop-In Center provides Case Management to incarcerated and recently incarcerated individuals living with HIV. Free and confidential Case Management services include assistance finding housing, work, resources, medical care, access to medications, support and other help transitioning after release. Case Management services can begin pre- or post release. For more information, please contact Mary Capps, CHARLI Program Coordinator at 982-2437 extension 108 or 540-353-9888.
Education, Speakers & Field Testing
If desired, staff from the Drop-In Center will come to your agency or facility and provide free prevention/education services and confidential HIV/HCV Testing. We request a minimum 2 weeks notice for scheduling purposes. The Drop-In Center staff can also assist you in finding speakers on a variety of HIV, STD, GLBTQ, issues. This requires more advance notice for the convenience and scheduling needs of the speakers.
Condoms & Literature
The Drop-In Center houses free magazines, and informational brochures focused on HIV, STDs, and other health and social related issues. We also have a variety of free latex and polyurethane condoms available.
If you need a quantity of literature/brochures or condoms, please give us at least 24 hours notice so that we may ensure that we have enough on hand to meet your needs. Condoms and literature are free, but a donation is appreciated for supplying them for your group or event.
The HIV Positive support group meets the 4th Tuesday of every other month, March through November, at 6:00 p.m.
TRANSformation Roanoke, a social support group for transgender individuals now meets at the Roanoke Diversity Center.