Address: Ulica kneza Domagoja 10, Zagreb ( open the map )
Testing and counselling centre working hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 16:00 to 19:30
Info hotline: 0800 448 767
Info e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check Point Zagreb is a youth health and education centre for voluntary, anonymous, confidential and free HIV and hepatitis C testing using rapid saliva tests that give results in only 20 minutes.
The Centre operates entirely within CAHIV, outside of formal health care institutions, and is completely friendly and community oriented.
There is no need to schedule an appointment in advance as we provide all of our services on a drop-in basis during the working hours of the testing and counselling centre. Our services are focused on providing support in a friendly and non-judgemental environment with an aim to help recognize the risks of HIV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections.
Our goal is to provide quality and innovative testing and counselling services to all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or financial status. Our experienced and qualified professionals and partners from the Croatian Red Cross and the Clinic of Infectious Diseases “Dr. Fran Mihaljevic” will provide you with counselling services, HIV and/or hepatitis C testing, health related information and education, ways to reduce risks and recommendations. We also ensure quality links with the institutionalized healthcare system for additional support, care and treatment.
All services are free.
Before testing… some things to consider
Do you need to test?
For many people, HIV and/or hepatitis C testing is important because they want to know their health status (whether they are infected or not)...
Why is it important to get tested for HIV and/or hepatitis C?
If you were engaged in at least one risk behaviour, it does not mean that you are infected with HIV or hepatitis...
HIV and hepatitis are chronic diseases which can go on for years without almost any symptoms or consequences for your health – yet! Serious deterioration of your health due to infection occurs on average 5 to 7 years after the infection if you were unaware of it and have not started treatment. Your chances for successful treatment are by then drastically reduced because during the period of non-treatment your body was uncontrolledly exposed to virus. Besides your own jeopardized health, the possibility of spreading the infection inadvertently on other people significantly increases during times of ignorance.
Once again, HIV and hepatitis C belong to chronic diseases which nowadays can be very successfully treated. The success of their treatment, naturally, depends on an early diagnosis and a quality treatment. Early detection and compliance with the treatment ensure that they are no longer a death sentence. Nowadays, HIV and hepatitis are diseases one can live with normally and healthily for almost an entire life span. With the modern and new treatments available today, the only regret you can have is not getting tested on time and not starting treatment earlier.
Risk of HIV/hepatitis infection:
Based on your sexual or drug using history...
About HIV and hepatitis C rapid saliva tests
You may have heard this test being referred to as an HIV test but in fact it is a test for HIV antibodies...
• “standard test” involves taking a blood sample and sending it to the lab to be tested for the presence of HIV or hepatitis antibodies. It usually takes up to a week for test results to come back.
• “rapid tests”, some of which involve pricking your finger and testing your blood while you wait, while others involve simple sample taking of your oral fluid (saliva) and detecting the presence of antibodies within 20 to 30 minutes.
At Check Point Zagreb we use only top-class saliva tests that give as accurate and reliable results as lab blood testing, but in just 20 to 30 minutes. In this way we provide the whole community with faster, easier and more available testing as well as care about own health. You can read more information about the tests HERE .
Given that testing for HIV and hepatitis C involves looking for antibodies and not the actual virus, it is necessary to wait until antibodies are made by your body since the moment of the potential risk situation, i.e. virus exposure. Antibodies can take on average up to 12 weeks to show up in your blood after the time of infection which makes testing within that period useless. Therefore, to get an accurate test result, you should wait up to 12 weeks after you had risky sex or used drugs or were engaged in risky behaviour under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This period is commonly referred to as the window period.
Also, it is extremely important that a minimum of 30 minutes before approaching the test:
• do not consume food, drink (alcohol, coffee, etc.), and chewing gum
• do not use oral care products (toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.)
Anonymous testing means using a number or a code with your test instead of your name...
Counselling before and after testing:
Before getting tested, you need someone to answer all your questions, and make sure you know exactly what testing means, so that you can make an informed decision about testing...
Testing and counselling is organized by and takes place in CAHIV premises...
What can you do if you test positive (if you are infected with HIV or hepatitis virus)
If you find out that you are infected with HIV or hepatitis, there are things that you can and should do to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health...
It is normal to feel fear, anxiety and discomfort before making a decision to get tested for HIV or hepatitis.
Sometimes a little support is needed and some people will find it easier to come with a trusted friend, partner or family member who will give them maximum support before and after testing, regardless of test results.
Others will prefer to remain anonymous, make the decision on their own and come to testing without anyone from their circle of relatives and friends know about it. Our discrete, open and friendly counsellors will help you in your choice, showing maximum understanding and ensuring protection so that nobody sees you if you do not want to.
If you are unsure, hesitant, feel fear, reject the very idea that you have any consequences from the past, think that this is something that can never happen to you, and yet somewhere deep inside you feel some doubt and would like to know your health status and whether you should be concerned for your health, then you may need more information before the decision. Talk to our counsellor, call our toll-free number or send us an e-mail message. Get a consultation about everything troubling you, find out everything that interests you, and accept our help so that you can make the right decision, because that is what we are here for.