HIV Prevention and Testing 

HIV Prevention

The Arkansas Department of Health HIV Prevention Program provides state leadership and support for development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based HIV prevention programs serving persons affected by, or at risk for, HIV infection. 

The HIV Prevention Program is responsible for:

  • Identifying, preventing and controlling the spread of HIV in Arkansas 
  • Addressing the surveillance and epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the state  

The HIV Prevention Program achieves this mission through policy development, grantmaking, training and technical assistance, collaboration and partnerships with community based organizations and other state agencies.

HIV Testing

Once HIV enters the body, the immune system starts to produce antibodies – (chemicals that are part of the immune system that recognize invaders like bacteria and viruses and mobilize the body's attempt to fight infection). In the case of HIV, these antibodies cannot fight off the infection, but their presence is used to tell whether a person has HIV in his or her body. In other words, most HIV tests look for the HIV antibodies rather than looking for HIV itself. There are tests that look for HIV's genetic material directly, but these are not in widespread use.

The most common HIV tests use blood to detect HIV infection. Tests using oral fluid or urine are also available. Some tests take a few days for results, but rapid HIV tests can give results in about 20 minutes. All positive HIV tests must be followed up by another test to confirm the positive result. Results of this confirmatory test can take a few days to a few weeks.

In most cases the EIA (enzyme immunoassay), used on blood drawn from a vein, is the most common screening test used to look for antibodies to HIV. A positive (reactive) EIA must be used with a follow-up (confirmatory) test such as the Western blot to make a positive diagnosis. There are EIA tests that use other body fluids to look for antibodies to HIV. These include: 

  • Oral Fluid Tests – use oral fluid (not saliva) that is collected from the mouth using a special collection device. This is an EIA antibody test similar to the standard blood EIA test. A follow-up confirmatory Western Blot uses the same oral fluid sample. 
  • Urine Tests – use urine instead of blood. The sensitivity and specificity (accuracy) are somewhat less than that of the blood and oral fluid tests. This is also an EIA antibody test similar to blood EIA tests and requires a follow-up confirmatory Western Blot using the same urine sample.


HIV Testing: Types of Tests Available

HIV/STD/HEPC Testing Centers

Local Health Unit Testing Centers

Mother-to-Child (Perinatal) - HIV Transmission and Prevention

What MSM Can Do

STD Partner Notificaton: What About Your Partners?

Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Training Calendar for 2014



January 14-16, 2014 Crittenden County Health Unit
901 N. 7th Street
West Memphis, AR
March 19-21, 2014

Freeway Medical Tower
Room 906
5800 W 10 Street
Little Rock, AR

May 20-22, 2014

300 East 6th Street
Texarkana, AR 
July 16-18, 2014 Freeway Medical Tower
Room 902
5800 W 10 Street
Little Rock, AR
September 17-19, 2014

Sebastian County Health Unit 
3112 S. 70th Street
Ft Smith, AR

November 19-21, 2014

Freeway Medical Tower
Room 906
5800 W 10 Street
Little Rock, AR


Community Partnerships

The HIV Prevention Program is currently working in concert with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission to establish synchronized efforts in HIV Prevention in the populations and geographic areas of Arkansas where epidemiological data shows the greatest need. This partnership is focused on facilitating a coordinated statewide community response to HIV/AIDS that will ultimately lead to fewer Arkansans contracting HIV and better health care and quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Arkansas Community Planning Group

The Arkansas Community Planning Group is currently being restructured but is intended to function as an advisory body to the HIV Prevention Program to ensure accountability of the program and the sub-grantees

HIV/AIDS Prevention4815 W. Markham Street, Slot 33
Little Rock, AR 72205