HIV doesn’t discriminate. Everyone should get tested at least once.
The only way you can be sure you don’t have HIV is to get tested.
Getting tested may seem scary, but not knowing your status is scarier! Over 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV/AIDS, but that number is based on people who have been tested - the actual number is probably higher because not everyone get’s tested.
The reason why you need to get tested for this and other STIs (sexually transmitted infections) is that most infections do not show symptoms for quite some time. In the case of HIV, it takes a while, sometime even years, for symptoms of HIV to show up in a human body.
We know much more about how to treat the HIV infection to make life better and last longer for people with the infection.
- Anti-retroviral medicines strengthen the immune system, to prolong life.
- Changes in diet, exercise and other behaviors can positively affect health.
- Use of non western medicine such as acupuncture and homeopathy can treat ailments.
However, there is still no cure for HIV and you can’t start treatment unless you know your status.
Scared of the test? It’s a pretty simple. You will speak to a health care professional about your risk- your activities that may make you more or less likely to contract HIV Then you will take the test. There are a few different kinds of test, it depends on the clinic which type you will receive.
- Blood test: A quick draw of blood either from your finger or from your vein.
- Oral Swab: A swab around the inside of your check which collects cells which are then tested for the HIV virus.
- Rapid test: sometimes blood, sometimes cheek cells, this type of test gives you quick results in 20 minutes. You will take a second test to confirm results if you get a positive.
Don’t know where to get tested? Use our clinic finder if you’re in the state of California, or google search “HIV testing” along with your zip code.
Want more information? Check out our STD Page on HIV.