THE IMPORTANCE OF HIV TESTING!
Today is National HIV Testing day and as such many people are tweeting and taking to Facebook to voice the importance of being tested. Some people are saying that they need to see paperwork before they engage in sexual acts with someone and that having documentation is important if you are trying to get with them.
While I think these sort of messages for getting people to get tested are important I think they also miss the mark.
The importance of HIV testing in my opinion is that if you are infected with the virus the earlier it is detected the better your prognosis will be. The problem with so many people with HIV is that they never got tested and thus when they discovered they were HIV+ they were into the later stages of the virus and were more likely to experience the complications associated with AIDS.
HIV testing allows those who are infected to have a chance to take control of their infection early on which changes their prognosis from a life threatening infection to a chronic disease that can be managed.
HIV testing shouldn’t really matter when it comes to you having sex. If you test negative you should still continue to use condoms as obviously you want to keep it that way. I personally assume that everyone is HIV+ and use a condom anyway. An HIV test is just a window of your status at one particular time and thus you could have done anything to change that so I must still be on high alert.
So while HIV testing is important for knowing the status of your partner it’s even more important for helping to get early diagnoses for those who may be infected and a chance for them to start taking the life saving medication from the start.
Paperwork or no paperwork, test or no test, you should still be using condoms for all your sex partners.