Why Should I get tested for HIV?
Getting tested for HIV is an important part of your lifestyle. There is zero stigma and zero discrimination in getting tested for HIV. It means that you are serious about taking care of yourself and about having responsible sex. Everyone should know their HIV status, regardless of age, background or sexual experience.
Of course there are factors that make you a higher risk for contracting HIV and this would mean getting tested is even more crucial. So who should get tested?
Anyone and everyone, including those who:
- Are sexually active
- Has had unprotected sex with one or more people
- Injected drugs either in the past or now
- Has had sex with someone who has HIV
- Have had sex with someone to get money, food, drugs
- Have traded sex for money or drugs
- Have another Sexually Transmitted Illness (STI)
- Has a parent who has HIV
Here are reasons it’s important to get tested for HIV.
To simply know your status
There are many people who have never been for an HIV test and, even though they have active sex lives, still don’t know their status. People who don’t know their status and have unprotected sex are putting themselves and others at risk.. An HIV test helps you understand your risks and know your health, whether you are HIV positive or negative.
To get the necessary treatment
If you detect HIV early and get treatment early, you can live a long and healthy life. Many people living with HIV and who are on treatment live normal lives. If you don’t get tested for HIV, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have it. Ignoring something doesn’t mean that it’s not there choma. So it’s definitely better to know so that you can do what’s necessary for your to keep living and enjoying your life.
Reducing HIV transmission to others
Finding out that you’re HIV positive doesn’t mean that your life comes to an end choma. It doesn’t mean that you stop dating or that you stop having sex. It does, however, mean that you can protect yourself and your sexual partners by having safe, responsible sex.
To help end the stigma
The more we all go for regular HIV testing, the more we show people that it’s important and normal and there’s nothing wrong with knowing our HIV status.
Getting tested for HIV is not a sign that you are HIV positive. HIV testing is for everyone choma. And just because you didn’t go for an HIV test, it doesn’t mean that you are HIV negative. Knowing your status gives you control over your health. Just like HIV-negative people, there are many HIV-positive people who go on to live long, happy and meaningful lives. You HIV status does not define your worth. Early detection and early treatment is important chomas. Also remember, regardless of your HIV status it’s still important to always practise safe and responsible sex.
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