Boldly Fighting HIV & Hep C
Fort Washington Medical Center aims to improve the care of patients living with HIV and HCV in Prince George’s County, Maryland and surrounding communities. We provide a private, safe, and effective way for testing. It is our goal to reduce the number of undiagnosed individuals; decrease the number of people undiagnosed late; and provide recommendations for access to care and treatment. When you visit our emergency department, you can elect to be tested. Alternately, patients can simply walk-in and ask to be tested.
Fort Washington Medical Center respects and takes your privacy seriously. Your results will not be shared with anyone, for any reason.
What Can I Expect After I’m Tested?
- Test results typically take up 72 hours or in some cases, 3 days after testing.
- If your results are ABNORMAL, you will be contacted to schedule a meeting to discuss your results.
- If you are contacted, DO NOT PANIC. A member of the FWMC team will assist you every step of the way. Additionally, initial results may vary, which is why secondary testing is encouraged.
- You can always call 301-203-2000, ask for a Nurse Navigator, Monday –Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
- Be advised, your test results will not be discussed over the phone. However, you will be instructed on what to do next.
- If you are unable to reach a Nurse Navigator, please leave a message. Be sure to include: name, date you were tested, telephone number, and the best time to reach you.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a virus that can
lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body is unable to get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment, but with early detection and proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV. It can take a couple of weeks – and in rare cases up to several months – to detect HIV after infection. This is called the “window period.” Although your initial results may be negative, retesting in 1 to 3 months is highly recommended. Remember, testing negative for HIV does not mean you are immune to the virus. Continue protecting yourself yourself and get tested every 6 months or annually.
Am I At Risk of HIV?
- Have you had sex with an HIV-positive partner?
- Have you had unprotected sex with more than one partner since your last HIV test?
- Have you shared needles or objects to inject drugs?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you had any other sexually transmitted infection, such as hepatitis, or tuberculosis?
- Has it been more than 6 months since your last HIV test?
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
HCV is a contagious and potentially life threatening liver disease that is curable. HCV is spread through contact with the blood of an infected person. Testing for HCV is easy and knowing your status can result in faster, more effective treatment options. If you have HCV, you should work with your health care provider to assess your liver damage and discuss your treatment options before it progresses. If you answered yes to any of the questions – and while there is still some controversy surrounding how often you should test for HCV – health care experts recommend that patients be tested at least once in his or her lifetime, no matter what.
Am I At Risk of HCV?
- Did you receive a blood transfusion before 1990?
- Were you born between 1945 and 1965?
- Have you ever used needles to inject (illegal) drugs?
- Do you have tattoos or piercings?
- Have you ever engaged in risky sex?
- Are you on dialysis?
- Was your natural mother been diagnosed with HCV?
- Do you live with someone who has HCV?