Testing Together

Testing Together is an HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and counseling service for male and heterosexual couples offered at Denver Public Health's STD Clinic

Testing together for HIV provides an opportunity for you and your partner to get your HIV test and test results together, with a trained counselor present to help you talk about what the results mean for you, and your relationship.

Testing and receiving your results together can start an ongoing, healthy conversation between you and your partner about HIV in your relationship, and allow you to talk openly about building a protection plan together.

How does it work?

When you arrive at the STD Clinic, you and your partner will be screened separately to determine eligibility to test together. If eligible, you will then meet with a counselor. You'll review the testing process and discuss how HIV impacts your specific relationship. You will then both be tested for HIV. The counselor will provide the results of the test to you both, in the same room. The counselor will then help you and your partner develop a plan for the future.

How long will it take?

The testing and counseling process generally takes about an hour, depending on the length of your post-test counseling session, and if you choose to have other STI testing. The HIV test itself is a rapid antibody test, with results available in 20 minutes.

If my partner and I are monogamous, do we need to get tested?

In the United States, most HIV transmissions occur between men and are from a primary sex partner. That's likely because one of the partners may have HIV and not know it. Many male couples have an agreement around monogamy, although their definitions of monogamy are sometimes different. It's also important to have a back-up plan, in case your agreement changes. As partners, you can take the step toward knowing your status by Testing Together.

Will our information be shared with others outside our relationship?

The rules around confidentiality are the same for all HIV testing - whether you test separately or together. Your information is confidential and your status will be kept between you and your partner. You and your partner can decide together if you want to share your test results with others.

If one of you tests positive, we will conduct a second test to confirm the result and help set you up with additional services.

If you prefer to be tested anonymously as an individual, we can provide that service instead.

Will my partner break up with me if I'm positive and they are negative... or vice-versa?

There's no way to know what direction your relationship will take once you both know your HIV status, but we've learned from others using this service, that most couples with different results stay together. Relationships develop differently. Knowing your status as a couple, will open the door for honesty, dialogue and trust - the foundations of any strong relationship.

Regardless of the results, we'll provide you with any referrals you need to make decisions about your relationship, and your health.

Will the counselor ask about my other sex partners in front of my partner?

Unlike individual testing, Testing Together doesn't focus on your past sex partners, or ask that you answer specific questions about your sexual risks or partners. Instead, this service focuses on helping you and your partner learn your HIV status and develop a plan to address HIV in your relationship for the future. We will ask you to provide some sexual history on a screening form, but this is only to collect data and the form will not be discussed during your session.

We don't consider ourselves a "couple", we're just sex partners. Should we be tested together?

Sure. Relationships take different forms. We just encourage you to consider if you are ready to receive your HIV result in front of this partner. If that works for you, make a Testing Together appointment!

You can be a long-term couple, newly dating, or even "friends with benefits." It doesn't matter if one of both of you have been having sex outside of this relationship.

I'm positive, but I haven't told my partner yet. Are we still eligible?

Yes. Testing together can provide an opportunity for you to share your status with your partner in a controlled setting, with a trained counselor, who can help start a healthy discussion about how to manage HIV in your relationship.

Plus, our clinic offers other helpful services to you as a person living with HIV including, testing for syphilis, and other sexually transmitted infections.

I'd like to participate, but I'm not sure my partner will. What can I do to get them interested?

Have a discussion with your partner. If either of you is unsure that Testing Together is right for you, you can still come to our clinic at the same time, and be testing separately.

How do I make an appointment?

HIV and STI testing services are offered at the STD Clinic to anyone who is in, or planning to be in, a sexual relationship. Testing fees are waived. You can also elect to waive your coverage if you have insurance or Medicaid.

The appointment offers Rapid HIV testing, screening for syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Please call (303) 602-3540 for more information, or to schedule an appointment.