Getting tested for HIV is no reason for alarm. In fact, it should just be a regular part of your routine checkup. The stigma surrounding this virus is so 1991. With advances in medicine, you can live a long, healthy life with HIV. Not to mention, medications like PrEP make it easier for both parties to act responsibly.
While living HIV strong is a possibility for many, the virus that has claimed the lives of many of our Southern California brothers and sisters in the past is still on the rise. In fact, from 2012 to 2016, cases of HIV in Southern California jumped 5.4%. With hopes of eliminating this virus in our lifetime stronger than ever, we mustn’t neglect the importance of HIV testing. Here are three reasons why you should maintain regular checkups.
One Test Might Not Do The Trick
When you test negative for HIV, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. For one, it takes a while for the virus to show up. If you get tested for HIV just days after a sexual encounter, you might still have the infection. That’s why you should take another test about six months after the initial test.
If you are sexually active with multiple partners, maintaining a regular testing schedule isn’t a bad idea. Even the most careful of people can experience a condom break. For those who use needles for recreational drugs, it’s essential to get tested on a regular basis. You run a very high risk of contracting HIV.
It’s Your Responsibility
Statistics show that there are over 126,000 known cases of HIV in California. Since the epidemic that ravaged the Golden State in the 1980s, approximately 86,000 people have succumbed to this virus. As a sexually active person, it is your responsibility not to add more numbers to that statistic.
Truth be told, if you can make the conscious decision to have intercourse or to use a needle, it’s your responsibility to know if you contracted HIV. That way, someone else can make a conscious decision if they want to partake in activities with you.
Furthermore, knowing your status shouldn’t change how they feel about you. With PrEP, you can still have an intimate relationship with a person diagnosed with HIV. So, know your status for the sake of others.
It’s the Only Way to Know for Sure
When the world first became aware of HIV, it was too late for many of our brothers and sisters. That’s because the virus can go undetectable for an extended period. So, you can live a very healthy life without ever knowing you have the infection until it spreads. Then, it may become difficult to treat your condition.
Be preventative and proactive with your health. The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is if you get tested. Everyone should get tested at least once in their life. However, any sexually active person or recreational drug user should keep up-to-date records on their status. It’s the only way we’re going to wipe this virus out for good!