"HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. The HIV epidemic is on the increase in Michigan and many people do not know that they are at risk or infected. Avoiding the HIV test won't help you live longer if you are infected. The fact is, getting tested for HIV has never been more beneficial or easier.Pre-testing counseling.Before you're actually tested for HIV infection, you will be counseled either confidentially or anonymously. This initial counseling will include a personal risk assessment, as well as risk reduction information specifically for you. Then, based on these assessments, a recommendation for testing will be made.Testing.Testing for the HIV antibody is available free of charge through all local health departments and other selected counseling and testing sites throughout Michigan. Most people infected with HIV will develop antibodies to HIV within two weeks to six months after the time of infection. For the counseling and testing site nearest you call 1-800-872-AIDS. Post-test counseling.Approximately two weeks after testing, post-test counseling on a face-to-face basis is offered. If you are negative, further risk reduction information is provided. If you test positive, information about what the test means is given. The importance of partner notification is also discussed, and you will be referred into the health care system for further medical evaluation and re-testing to confirm the original test results.Early medical intervention.Due to advancements in medical science, treatments are now available to prolong the time of the onset of AIDS. These treatments include anti-viral therapies as well as treatments that prevent or cure opportunistic infections. These advancements have made testing more beneficial since early identification in most cases means a prolonged, healthier and more productive life.Psychosocial Services.Individual with HIV disease including AIDS may benefit from case management services, in-home health care, hospice, mental health counseling, and other continuum of care services which reinforce healthy behavior and positive living conditions.Financial information.The costs of medical care, out-patient services and hospitalization can seem huge. Fortunately, most required care may be covered by private insurance, Medicaid, or MediCare. Michigan has special programs like the Insurance Assistance Program and the Federal Drug Assistance Program. Individuals with HIV disease can rely on case managers or health care providers to assist them in helping to resolve financial coverage of their medical care. No one wants to find out they have HIV. But avoiding testing isn't the answer. Today's testing and related services can lead to a longer and more productive life for people with or without HIV. Get counseled and make your decision on being testing for HIV today.Don't take the chance. Take the test."