More than 30 years after HIV/AIDS became a public health threat in the United States, HIV infections are still rampant. In fact, according to the CDC, African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV in the United States. And gay and bisexual men account for more than half of estimated new HIV diagnoses among African Americans.
Just like flossing is part of oral health and drinking water is part of overall health, HIV testing is a critical part of HIV prevention. Knowing your HIV status helps disrupt unknown transmission to others and allows for early treatment options.
The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. People with certain risk factors should get tested more often.
If you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested and answer yes to any of the following questions, the CDC says you should get an HIV test:
You should be tested regularly – at least once a year if you keep doing any of the above. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).
Unprotected sex with men, women or both is a risk for transmitting not only HIV but also other sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, and gonnorhea.
Also, anyone who has been sexually assaulted should get an HIV test as soon as possible after the assault and should consider post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), taking antiretroviral medicines after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected.
Today, you can get an HIV tested at many different places. You can ask your health care provider, go to a medical clinic, community health center, and every hospital can offer them too. Find a testing site near you by:
Here are 6 Awesome Resources You Should Know About.
1. AIDS.gov: bit.ly/aidsgovnhtd4
2. The Counter Narrative Project: bit.ly/thecnpnhtd4
3. Benjamin Di’Costa.com: bit.ly/bdicostanhtd4
4. ShawnandGwenn.com/POZ: bit.ly/shawngwennnhtd4
5. The Healthy Latina: bit.ly/healthylatinanhtd4
6. Greg Revenj: bit.ly/gregrevenjnhtd4
You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online. June 27th is National HIV Testing Day.