HIV Prevention Navigator

One out of seven people who are living with HIV are positive and don't know it. HIV is NOT a death sentence. It can be managed with proper care and antiretroviral therapy. The only way to know that you are infected is through HIV testing.

DABO is committed to providing HIV testing and early care to Detroiters. We provide free testing and health navigation services for ages 13 years to 30. Our Patient Navigation services ensure people are linked to care, community resources and support to help them achieve optimal health. HIV is NOT a death sentence. It can be managed with proper care and antiretroviral therapy (PrEP). This project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Who Should Get Tested?

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. For those at higher risk, CDC recommends getting tested at least once a year.

Where to Get Tested?

Appointment Only

Testing is available Monday through Saturday by appointment only. Please schedule an appointment below.

Premier Quality Healthcare

Inside DABO
12048 Grand River Ave
Detroit, MI 48204

Schedule an Appointment

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It Could Be Me Series

Real People. Real Stories. Living with HIV.

Hey, I’m Tracy and I want to share my story. Hopefully, it will help somebody. I fell in love with a man I worked with when I was 18. He was about 10 years older and FINE FINE. It was lust at first sight. LOL. We ended up becoming a couple and moving in together about two years after meeting. I was completely head over heels for this man. He was everything I wanted in a husband. A few months after moving in together I got pregnant. Go figure!

When I was five months pregnant I went to the doctor because I knew something wasn’t right with my body. The doctor encouraged me to get tested for HIV. I was a little annoyed that the doctor even suggested it. I was in a monogamous relationship and I knew my man would never cheat on me. After all, I’m gorgeous. I decided that I should get tested anyway, just to be sure- for my baby’s sake.

The doctor took a sample of saliva for a rapid HIV test. Twenty minutes later, I was told that I tested positive for HIV. I completely came undone. My whole world felt like it crashed. I confronted my boyfriend when I got home and he ACTED shocked. I thought a positive test result meant I was going to get sick and die.

I followed up with my doctor and learned that HIV is treatable. It is not a death sentence but you need to know what is going on in your body to prevent becoming seriously ill. I have a treatment plan and feel great! Ladies, don’t leave your health up for chance. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, get tested. Everyone has a past.

 

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Hey, I’m Tracy and I want to share my story. Hopefully, it will help somebody. I fell in love with a man I worked with when I was 18. He was about 10 years older and FINE FINE. It was lust at first sight. LOL. We ended up becoming a couple and moving in together about two years after meeting. I was completely head over heels for this man. He was everything I wanted in a husband. A few months after moving in together I got pregnant. Go figure!

When I was five months pregnant I went to the doctor because I knew something wasn’t right with my body. The doctor encouraged me to get tested for HIV. I was a little annoyed that the doctor even suggested it. I was in a monogamous relationship and I knew my man would never cheat on me. After all, I’m gorgeous. I decided that I should get tested anyway, just to be sure- for my baby’s sake.

The doctor took a sample of saliva for a rapid HIV test. Twenty minutes later, I was told that I tested positive for HIV. I completely came undone. My whole world felt like it crashed. I confronted my boyfriend when I got home and he ACTED shocked. I thought a positive test result meant I was going to get sick and die.

I followed up with my doctor and learned that HIV is treatable. It is not a death sentence but you need to know what is going on in your body to prevent becoming seriously ill. I have a treatment plan and feel great! Ladies, don’t leave your health up for chance. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, get tested. Everyone has a past.

 

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Hey, my name is Josh and I want to share my story. I’m a 24-year-old gay man. I was always accepted by my family and friends, but I just couldn’t find anyone I was interested in the small town I lived in. I moved to Detroit last year and was excited about all the dating opportunities of living in a larger city. There were so many new people to meet and places to go. But things took a turn for the worse when I found out I was HIV positive. I was in complete shock and didn’t tell anyone. I mostly just kept to myself after that. “Who would want someone like me?” I thought. That worked for a while until I got lonely…However, somehow I ended up meeting someone at a small cafe who seemed really cool. We clicked right away. Before I knew it, we were spending a lot of time together and eventually having sex. I wanted to tell him I was living with HIV, but I was terrified about how he would react. What if he rejected me or was upset because I wasn’t honest from day one.  Every time I saw his face the guilt ate me alive, but I couldn’t lose him. I would keep it quiet forever! One day, he found my HIV medicine and confronted me. Needless to say, we broke up that night.

After experiencing that heartbreak, I realized what I had done was wrong. I knew I had to find a way to be open about my HIV status with my sex partners. I wasn’t sure how to do that, so I asked my case manager. She encouraged me to think about what I need to feel comfortable to tell guys I’m positive. We practiced having that conversation. At first, it was hard and uncomfortable but it got easier each time I had it with her.

I decided to slow things down for a while. From now on, I’m going to focus on being friends first without any sex. That way, we can spend time getting to know each other and feeling more comfortable with each other. This plan makes me feel confident that I will be able to tell someone my HIV status before having sex.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Hey, my name is Dave. I am a 29-year-old African American man. I was first diagnosed with HIV when I finished college a year ago, at 23 years old. Currently, I’m living in Downtown Detroit with my friend Rob. He is also HIV positive. He has had his diagnosis a little longer than I have and seems to be fine. I had never seen Rob have any issues with his health. I refuse treatment because I see how healthy Rob is even being HIV positive. I figured the drugs would probably do more harm to me right now than HIV because I feel fine.

Last week, it finally caught up to Rob. I had to take him to the emergency room for a very severe case of Pneumonia. He was in the hospital for days, and to this day isn’t feeling his best. It freaked me out. How bad is it going to be the next time I catch the flu? After the second or third day, I started talking to the nurse. I told her about my HIV status. She seemed shocked when I told her I was not taking my HIV medication. She asked me why, and I told her that I thought the medicine might make me more sick. I preferred staying healthy by eating right and exercising. “Those are both important things,” she said to me, “but you have no idea how weak your immune system may be because of your HIV.” She was right. I looked over at Rob, he had thought along the same lines as I did and now he was fighting for his life in a hospital bed. I decided after talking to her, and seeing what Rob went through that I would visit my doctor next week. I would not leave my immune system up to chance, and potentially get very sick from an opportunistic infection. I want to live the longest and best life I can.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Hi, my name is Connor. Last year, I found out I had HIV. I used to fool around with ANYONE, men or women. I have no clue who I got it from! I was devastated when I found out, especially because I recently decided I wanted to settle down and have a happy life with just one person. It felt like that would never happen. I felt so alone, and isolated. I was depressed.

Things started getting better when I worked up the courage to tell my family. They were there for me! They weren’t disappointed or angry…just concerned for my health and supportive of my treatment. I don’t know how I would have been able to continue on if it weren’t for my family’s support. It was much more difficult to tell my friend. I learned who my true friends were over the course of a year. I had some who never wanted to talk to me again, and some who stuck around to support me like a good friend should. I have been able to keep myself healthy with my support system, trips to the doctor, medicine, and exercise.

After finding out about my HIV, I made an oath to myself that I would be upfront with anyone I might become romantically involved with. One of my friends, Ron, who doesn’t know about my status, and I have been becoming very close recently. I am falling in love, and I feel like he feels the same way. I had been planning on telling Ron, but the timing just hasn’t been right. I have had so many chances, but I was afraid he may not be interested in me anymore after finding out. I have been breaking the oath I made to myself.  However, the right moment presented itself when we got on the topic of STDs and sex. He asked me if I would ever date someone with an STD, and I poured my heart out to him. It was such a relief telling him, and I think it brought us closer together than we ever have been before. He knows he can trust me, and I can trust him.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Hello,

My name is Thomas. I am a 40-year-old man who is happily married to the love of my life, Sophie. Sophie and I have been together since we were 13 years old. Other couples we know look to us for guidance for their relationships since we have built a life together since our middle school days. They always ask us how we could stay faithful to one another. Truth be told, it was easy, we love each other more than anything and our faith has always guided us down the right path.

Recently, the Lord has tested our faith in him. Six months ago, my wife and I were driving home from a Friday night church service when we were hit by a drunk driver on the road. The crash totaled the car, and I was severely injured. Thankfully Sophie only had small injuries. I had taken the brunt of it. I was taken to the hospital, and had to be given blood transfusions to even live. It was touch and go for a while, but now I am recovering. However, that was not the end of our story.

Two months ago, we received a call from the hospital. They informed us that the individual whose blood they had infused me with had recently tested positive for HIV. They suggested I get tested as well. My heart sank! Surely, the lord would not be so cruel! We know God works in mysterious ways, but how could he do this to us? There was no way! I refused! God Would keep me safe!

But Sophie, bless her, went online and looked up HIV and found out that even though this person tested negative when giving blood originally, it didn’t mean the virus could not have been dormant. She begged me to get tested. I told her I would, but kept putting it off until I started getting some of the first potential symptoms she warned me about. I had a long bout of flu-like symptoms that were inexplicable. I got tested immediately after that and it came back negative. However, the hospital wanted to keep monitoring me so they suggested I get tested every six months for a few years. Just to be sure. God has blessed me so far, and I will put my faith in him that he will keep me safe because I also learned about new treatments that exist now to help me live a long healthy life with my Sophie if I do test positive.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Hi there, my name is Ava and I am a Transgender woman. I cut and color hair in a local hair salon in Downtown Detroit, but my man is the one who really provides for me. I appreciate everything he does. We’ve been together for a really long time, we’re going on DOUBLE DIGITS this year for our anniversary! I love him to the moon and back!  In the beginning of our relationship, we were both really careful and used condoms every time. However, we both tested negative for HIV and haven’t used condoms since. When you are one of the girls like me, you know that your man likes it raw.

A couple of months ago, my boyfriend started getting really sick. He got a rash and a bad case of the flu. I was worried but thought it would just last a few days. However, I also noticed a lot of strange behavior around this time. He would hang up the phone instantly whenever I walked into the room and started hanging around really feminine guys. It wasn’t until last night that I found out he has been taking pills that I didn’t recognize. I confronted him and found out that he had just found out he was HIV positive. I couldn’t believe it!

All he could do was look at me and say “Sorry, Sorry…” I didn’t know how to respond at first, all I could do was accuse him. “Why didn’t you tell me? You’re trying to kill me!” I cried in anger and hurt. He told me he had been trying to tell me at the right time and it was hard for him to admit it. But I felt so hurt and betrayed, how could he do this to me? At that moment I wanted to leave him, but I loved him. “How could he do this to me?” I kept asking myself.

The next two days were a blur until I got a call from my friend at the salon, Charlotte. She was worried because I hadn’t shown up in a few days, without calling in. I told her everything, and being the best friend I have she gave me advice and hope. She said I should get tested and that the medication they offer today makes HIV very manageable. He and I could both live very long lives if we were both positive.  I went to the clinic the next day and got my first test. Thankfully, my test was negative. Now both my man and I are planning for our future together.  I want to help take care of him now. I make sure I get tested every 6 months and am taking PreP to protect myself and my partner! I  know what I can do to remain healthy and support him now. I want us both to be as healthy as we can be!

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

My name is Bella, and for the past year I feel like I’ve lost control of my life. At 26 years old, I knew I shouldn’t have been feeling as sick as I was. It seemed like I had constant flu symptoms. I didn’t know what was going on, and it was hard to find the time or strength to go to the doctor when I was also working,  taking care of my boyfriend, and doing schoolwork. It seemed like everything I was working for in life was slipping away from me. Finally, one day, I managed to get the time to go to the doctor. That is when I found out I had HIV. I was shocked.

My thoughts turned to my boyfriend.  But there was no way, I had been in a committed relationship for the past 4 years. However, I confronted my boyfriend when I got home. Turns out, he had been cheating for the past two years. In that time, we hadn’t used a condom.  My world was turned completely upside down. Here I was, a college student with a bright future and now it felt like I had lost complete control.

Even though my diagnosis was almost a year ago now, I hadn’t told my parents yet. I felt guilty because we’ve always been so close. They come to visit me every weekend. I don’t want to disappoint them because they are all I have. I haven’t gone back to the doctor’s since for treatment because I do not want my parents to find out or have them ask about any medications they may find when they come to visit.

 I did some research and learned that people with HIV lead very fulfilling lives if managed and with a big support system. After reading that, I decided I needed to tell them. So, a few days ago, I went to church and prayed. After that, I went to my parent’s house and told them. They cried for a bit, but then kissed me and said they loved me no matter what. I felt relieved and proud that I did the right thing. I have their love and blessing, so I am now ready to start treatment.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Harper

Hey my name is Harper. I’m a 23-year-old woman. I got my HIV diagnosis at 19 years old and started my ART treatment at the recommendation of my doctor. It has been very difficult to follow the treatment plan though because I’ve had several side effects from the medicine and because I haven’t disclosed my condition to anyone other than my sister it’s hard to be around others when I’m not feeling well. I don’t want them to suspect anything.

During the first few months, I had a bunch of side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and severe pain in my abdomen. It was hard to get used to and difficult to hide because I did not want to disclose my HIV status to anyone at work. I was afraid of gossip and rumors starting about me. Most importantly, I was afraid that I might lose my job. So, I didn’t tell anyone until last month.

Sometimes I couldn’t take the pill at the time I needed to because I was in a meeting. You can’t exactly pop a random pill in front of your boss without him asking questions. So sometimes I would skip them out of fear of being asked questions. And it made me feel worse!

A couple of months ago I talked to my sister. She’s the only person that knows my status. She recommended I be sincere with my closest friends. This way, I could understand their perceptions of HIV. After much thought, I decided to tell my friend at work, Evelyn. She always bakes me cookies for lunch. It was hard for me, but I knew it was the right thing to do. So, Monday morning I told Evelyn about my condition. I was surprised by her reaction.

“Yes, my old college friend is also HIV positive and she looks fantastic!” She told me. She knew a lot about HIV because she had helped support her friend through her diagnosis as well. So we went for lunch and just talked. Evelyn offered support to “take my pill on time” because I had told her I was having issues with that. It feels good to know there are people out there who care and will not judge me. I will be able to stick to my treatment now because I have the support of Evelyn and my sister. I don’t feel like I need to hide anymore.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

Hey, my name is Grace. I am a 35-year-old woman who lives in Detroit, Michigan! My whole life has been pretty AMAZING. I grew up with a loving mother, father, and a pretty cool brother. Don’t tell my brother I said he was cool though. He won’t let me hear the end of it. I was a straight A student in school all the way through college. I went to school for fashion design and have a business set up selling my own clothes in the heart of Detroit! I am blessed to have the opportunities that I have!

I would say the darkest point of my entire life was when I was diagnosed with HIV ten years ago. I couldn’t believe it when the doctor told me that I was HIV positive. I had always been careful but somehow I had it. I couldn’t help but think, HOW?! WHAT WILL MY BOYFRIEND THINK? MY PARENTS?! MY BROTHER?! I dreaded picking up the phone to tell my boyfriend how my doctor’s appointment went. I called him and instantly burst into tears. He listened patiently to my story through long sobs. He wasn’t saying anything, I was so worried he would hate me for possibly passing it to him. I was scared he’d think I cheated. I was always faithful to him. It had to have happened before we met.

Finally he spoke and told me, “Grace, I know this is bad news now, but you are the strongest woman I know. You always overcome anything that life throws at you. We have options for treatment. We will figure this out together. I love you.” He was right, why was I letting this one diagnosis break me down? I had options and it was all I needed to start getting my life back on track.

Immediately, I started looking into things I can do to be healthier. I talked with a doctor who specializes in HIV care and I got on medicine to suppress the virus. Thankfully, I didn’t transmit HIV to my boyfriend. However, we started using protection and getting tested regularly. He also started taking PreP, so that he is extra safe. He is the love of my life and snapped me out of my sadness and uncertainty after my diagnosis. I am forever thankful to him. I love him so much.

Today,  I take one pill a day, and my HIV has been undetectable for 8 years now! I also lost ten pounds as I wanted to be even healthier. I also needed to lose some weight for my wedding as my boyfriend and I got married about a year after my diagnosis! I still can’t believe I have the most amazing husband! I even completed my first marathon about 8 months ago– a life goal of mine!

And well, now my husband and I have entered the next phase of our lives. Shortly after the marathon…. I found out I was pregnant! And not only that, but pregnant with twin GIRLS! I am absolutely over the moon! Now I am focused on having our healthy baby girls, taking care of my husband and my health, my fashion business, and after I have the twins I plan on getting back out onto the track to train for my next marathon! I am truly blessed.

I am blessed with all the opportunities life has given me.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

.

emma

Hey, my name is Emma and I was first diagnosed with HIV when I went to jail for selling 10 bags of crack in the streets. What possessed me to sell crack? Well, I have been using crack for years since I lost my husband Owen in Iraq. I loved Owen so much and still do to this day. My life was turned upside down when he passed. My life no longer had meaning to it, so I turned to drugs to fill the void. It was the only thing that could make me forget in that one euphoric moment when I smoked the vapors it produced. It was the only thing that helped, just a little. However, it wasn’t easy getting it every day.

Sometimes, I would have to do sexual favors for crack. Something, I am not proud of when I look back on it but at the time I didn’t care. I was spiraling out of control. I wanted more and more crack. Well, eventually I got busted. And to make matters worse, shortly after getting busted I found out I had HIV and I was 3 months pregnant by my friend Jack who counseled and consoled me during the difficult times.

The first thing they did when I got to jail was send me to detox for several days. My withdrawals made me feel like I was in agony 24/7. I felt really sick and desperate for crack. Soon after my detox, they started me on HIV medication. They told me that the sooner I started the medication, the better the chances were that my child would be born HIV-negative. So last month, I started taking my HIV meds regularly.

I want my baby to be HIV-negative and will do anything the doctor says to make sure I have a healthy baby.  However, I am worried about my life, where I will go after jail, my HIV condition, and my baby’s future. Jack promised me I would be able to leave in 6 – 8 months. He is working with an organization that takes care of people like me, wives of veterans, so that he can find me a good attorney. I want to be free, and take care of my baby and my HIV condition. I know that I have Jack’s support and my late husband’s memory to keep going in life.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

.

Hello, my name is Oliver and I am HIV Positive. I used to sell dope in Downtown Detroit until I got busted and thrown in prison for five years for my crime! I lost my freedom there, but at least I could get clean in rehab! I didn’t realize how bad that dope was actually making me feel. Last year was when I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. That mistake, getting together with my old DOPE buddies! I HAVE NO CLUE why I thought this would be good for my life because I started using again. I wasn’t strong enough to resist. I CURSE myself for ever putting myself in a position that would tempt me to use again. 

I just couldn’t stop once I got going again. And I just made things worse for me because instead of buying my HIV meds, I was spending my money on dope. I had stopped taking my meds for 4 whole months! It wasn’t until I got a bad case of pneumonia that things started changing for me again. Luckily my neighbor was able to take me to the hospital after I got sick, I call him my guardian angel now. It is because of him that I am alive now. When I was in the hospital I met a counselor who was spiritual. We talked about the meaning of life, angels and responsibility. After talking to the counselor I finally started seeing things in a different light. I knew that I was the only one who could really help myself. Nobody else had that power, it was just me. I got into recovery and my faith guided me to a good place. I’m learning to play by the rules instead of being a hustler and scammer like I have been my entire life. I need to stick to my guns! When I am frustrated, I meditate and that really helps. For the first time, I feel like I can get my body and mind to a place where it is healthy. I am ready to take my HIV treatment seriously and get my life together. 

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

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Hi, I’m DJ. I am a local artist. From looking at me, you might think I’m a straight Black man, but I’m queer. I’m constantly “coming out” because people want to hook me up with their female friends and play matchmaker. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for 7 years. I love him but, our relationship lacks sexual fulfillment.

I heard about DABO’s HIV Navigation project and decided to start getting tested regularly. I’ve overcome the fear of a positive result. I know it’s not a death sentence.

I recently started engaging in casual sex with other men who can scratch my itch for intimacy. I hate wearing condoms and am concerned about contracting HIV and passing it along to my partner.

I talked to a navigator and learned about Prep to prevent HIV transmission. I know I’m high-risk and I know y’all think that I should have already known about it because I’m queer, but that isn’t true. I heard the medications are expensive. I’m checking into my insurance to see if it is covered. My plan is to start Prep if I can afford it.

This story has been adapted to hide the person’s identity.

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We Need Your Help

We are looking for volunteers to serve on our advisory committee for this project. We are also looking for success stories from people living with HIV or AIDS. Interested? Please give Minou Carey-Jones a call at (313) 491-0003.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I'm older than 30, can I still get tested?

Although we are encouraging ages 13 to 30 to get tested, we will still provide testing to anyone.

How long does it take to get results?

Results are ready in 20 minutes and are 99% accurate.

What kinds of tests are available?

We use OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid Antibody test. Results are collected through oral fluid collection.

Get In Touch

We're here to help and answer any questions you may have regarding our HIV prevention program. Please complete the form below and a member of our staff will contact you.