Confidential HIV & STD/STI Testing is available at both MCWC and BAO. Most insurance plans will cover testing at MCWC. Patients who are under insured or without coverage may also visit BAO (Birmingham AIDS Outreach) for free and confidential HIV & STD/STI testing.
For free testing at BAO please visit during regular hours. In addition to regular testing hours at BAO, our team has several testing events throughout the year at various metro area locations including college campuses, health fairs, retail locations, and bars. If you would like to schedule a testing event please contact BAO's Education Director at least 30 days prior to the event date.
Regular Testing Hours at BAO
Monday 9.00 - 4.00
Tuesday 9.00 - 4.00
Wednesday 2.30 - 6.30
Thursday 9.00 - 4.00
Friday 9.00 - 4.00
If you are unable to visit during regular hours please contact BAO's Education Director to schedule a special time that fits your needs.
What to Expect
HIV & STD/STI testing at MCWC & BAO is always free and confidential, and no appointment is needed. Couples or friends who wish to take the test together are welcome. When you enter the building please talk with our receptionists and let them know that you are here for an HIV test. All BAO team members are trained to provide HIV testing and the first available team member will assist you, so that we can ensure your wait time is minimal. A team member will welcome you to a private office providing a comfortable and confidential environment. You will have the option of the OraQuick 20 minute test or a 1 minute finger prick test. Our goal is to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during your visit at BAO. We want you to continue visiting BAO for regular testing, and encourage your friends to visit. During your testing visit our team members will talk with you about HIV and answer any questions you may have. BAO provides a non-judgmental atmosphere and we welcome and encourage all questions about HIV and your health. We recommend regular testing at least once every six months as well as additional testing as needed.
What if my result is HIV-positive?
First, know that you are not alone. Next, know that HIV is treatable, and with proper treatment, you can live a long and healthy life. If your HIV test at BAO is "reactive", we will immediately administer another oral swab test and send it to an off-site lab. The off-site lab will test for confirmatory results and report to BAO within 7 business days. The confirmatory results provided by the off-site lab will determine if you are HIV positive or HIV negative. Once BAO receives the confirmatory results from the lab, you will be contacted to make an appointment. BAO will not give any confirmatory test results over the phone or mail.
When you return to BAO to receive your confirmatory test result, your meeting will be with our Education Director and one of our licensed counselors. In Alabama all individuals who test positive for HIV are required to visit their local health department. BAO will give you the option of immediately visiting the Jefferson County Health Department with our Education Director who will serve as your navigator and stay with you during the process. Our goal is to ensure that you are comfortable and that you feel empowered to take control of your health. BAO will also provide you with information that will be helpful in determining a health care provider. All individuals who test positive should seek a health care provider as soon as possible.
BAO is partnering with UAB to offer free screenings for sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STI/STD) during regular testing hours at BAO. The tests are always confidential and always free. No appointment is needed. Our STD tests are simple and can be self administered. Testing includes a finger prick, urine sample, and a rectal/vaginal swab. Tests will be processed by UAB Medicine and notifications with results will be available at BAO within two business days. STD tests are BAO include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis (TRICH), Hepatitis C (with results in 20 minutes), Shyphilis (with results in 20 minutes), and HIV (with results in 20 minutes).
The OraQuick HIV test is available at BAO. It requires a simple oral swab with results in only 20 minutes. The test searches for antibodies that your body will produce after becoming infected with HIV. In most people it will take 4 weeks to 6 months for your body to produce enough antibodies to react in the OraQuick test. This is a standard test that most testing facilities use and is just as accurate as most blood tests that health care facilities utilize. The OraQuick test at BAO is always administered free of charge in a confidential setting.
The finger prick test is also available at BAO with results in only 20 minutes. Guests who don't mind a small finger prick can opt for this test with the most accurate results. The Alere 4th Generation Test, utilized at BAO, searches for both the HIV antibodies AND HIV virus, which decreases the window period of the test to only 3 weeks.