Local Organization Offers Certification in HIV Testing

Nowadays with new advances in technology, HIV/AIDS is more contained than it was 30 years ago. One step in protecting yourself from this virus is prevention.

One of the most common methods of prevention is getting tested for HIV.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone between the ages of 13 to 64 needs to get tested at least once as part of a routine health screening.

Usually when most people think about a HIV test, they think about needles and blood. However, in recent years HIV tests have become relatively easy to take. Today in many clinics, oral HIV tests are used rather than blood tests.

One Tallahassee organization, The Minority Alliance for Advocating Community Awareness and Action, Inc., offers classes to anyone who wants to be certified in HIV testing.

Niya Hubbard, a MAACA’s volunteer coordinator, said, “It’s important that we get people in the community involved with HIV testing. Getting tested and knowing whether or not you have the virus is the first step in preventing it.”

To become certified in HIV testing you must take a course with MAACA. During the course you will sit through videos and presentations about the history of HIV, how it affects your body and how to help people cope if they find out they are HIV positive.

After this portion of the training, you will be given an exercise on how to give an HIV test. Once the exercise is over, you will be taken into the community where you will give three oral HIV tests to random individuals under the supervision of an already trained individual. After you have completed this, you will then become certified in HIV testing and counseling.

LaCourtney Baker, a business student, became certified in HIV testing through MAACA said, “The class was very helpful and now I’m glad to be certified in HIV testing. It makes me feel like I’m doing the community a service.”

If you are interested in becoming certified in HIV testing and counseling, please contact MAACA's volunteer coordinator Niya Hubbard at 850- 942-6222 and visit http://www.maaction.org.