This means you are likely living with HIV. Everything will be okay. This may be a lot to take in right now. You can continue reading or take a break and come back. The most important next step is to take care of your immediate emotional needs. This may also be a good time to reach out to someone you trust for support. Our care team of Case Managers and Peer Navigators are available through our Health Connect Jamaica Virtual app to support you.

Confirm your results and support your care 

If you get a positive result, confirm your result at a lab as soon as possible. Our team at Health Connect Jamaica will support you to make an appointment or you can book a FREE test at one of our partner labs. The self-test you took is a highly accurate screening test, however all HIV self-test positive results need to be confirmed by a lab test that your doctor can order to give you a formal HIV diagnosis. If you do not have a doctor, visit the Health Connect Jamaica website or contact us via WhatsApp or call our offices and we can link you to one of our private doctors. You can also make an appointment with a Case Manager  using our Health Connect Jamaica Virtual app.

HIV is treatable and can be made undetectable with the right treatment

While there is no cure for HIV, HIV is treatable. People with HIV on treatment can live long, healthy lives and have families. The medications used to treat HIV are called antiretrovirals. They prevent the virus from multiplying and slow the disease’s progress. Starting antiretroviral therapy early can lower the virus in you to an undetectable level so that you can stay healthy.

Undetectable means untransmittable: HIV can be transmitted by blood, semen, vaginal fluids, anal fluids and breast milk, but when you are on antiretroviral treatment and the virus is undetectable, you can’t transmit HIV to your partners during sex. Being undetectable also reduces the chance of transmission to needle sharing partners, your unborn child or through breastfeeding your child. Antiretroviral treatment is by prescription and can only be accessed through a doctor. Health Connect Jamaica can link you to a doctor to get treatment. Note also that taking an HIV self-test cannot tell you whether your viral load has reached undetectable levels. Only a blood test through your healthcare provider can do this.

Talk to your healthcare provider about other conditions

When you see your doctor, talk to them about other concerns that could apply to you, for example: guidance on mental health, housing or food security; screening and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections (such as syphilis or chlamydia); or sexual health counselling.

Sharing your results  

Your HIV test results are confidential, but it’s important to discuss your HIV status with your partner(s) if you feel safe to do so. This can help ensure that steps are taken to prevent transmission. We also recommend encouraging your partners to get tested. Health Connect Jamaica offers partner/couples testing and counselling services available to help you learn more about staying safe with your partner(s). 

If you test positive and are in a situation where you don’t feel safe   

If you test positive and you’re concerned about possible violence or  harm from an intimate partner or family member, we suggest talking to a support provider before disclosing your results to that person. You can contact our Case Managers  through the Health Connect Jamaica Virtual  or contact us at Health Connect Jamaica using our WhatsApp number (876-308-0198) or call us at 876-669-7349.

Support is available

There are resources available to help you with support and answering your questions. If you want to speak to someone about HIV self-test results, how to get confirmatory testing done, or to get connected to care, you can call us using WhatsApp (876-308-0198) or at our Health Connect Jamaica office, 876-669-7349. You can also access our Health Connect Jamaica Virtual app to make an appointment with a Case Manager or Peer Navigator.