Anyone who suspects they may have contracted HIV is undoubtedly under stress. However, it may feel even worse for someone who is under 18 because in addition to the fear of diagnosis, there is a fear of parents’ or guardians’ reactions. At UNM Truman Health Services, you can lay at least one of those fears aside. We provide confidential HIV screening and counseling to minors.
When Confidentiality Applies to Minors
Many medical services for people under 18 are not confidential. Some clinics may have policies that require information be sent to parent/guardians and/or require consent from them before medical care or tests may be administered. For minors on their parents’/guardians’ health insurance plans, insurance typically sends correspondence, including bills for all medical activity, to the subscriber.
However, institutions receiving Title X funds are obligated to provide confidential services to minors, and other institutions may by choice create policies that allow them to provide confidential services.
At UNM Truman Health Services, your privacy is protected. Your records are confidential, and we ask you for a private phone number and/or mailing address to direct any communication between our staff and you.
Steps to Getting Help
Because you have the confidence of confidentiality, the steps to getting help for a minor are the same for anyone else who suspects they may have HIV. The first step is to get tested.
UNM Truman offers rapid HIV testing so that you can know in a matter of minutes if you have the virus or not.
If you test negative: we will provide you with information to help keep you healthy through safe sex practices.
If you test positive: we will schedule an appointment with one of our care coordinators to help you understand and navigate the treatment process. Early treatment is imperative and leads to better health prognoses.
You do not need to wait until you suspect you have the virus to get education and resources to practice safe sex. Our website and blog are full of free resources, and we often have community outreach events to provide more extensive information. For more information, please contact us