Should I get an HIV Test?
The following are behaviors that increase your chances of getting HIV. If you answer yes to any of them, you should definitely get an HIV test. If you continue with any of these behaviors, you should be tested every year. Talk to a health care provider about an HIV testing schedule that is right for you.
Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?
Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners?
Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis?
Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?
If you have had sex with someone whose history of sex partners and/or drug use is unknown to you or if you or your partner has had many sex partners, then you have more of a chance of being infected with HIV. Both you and your new partner should get tested for HIV, and learn the results, before having sex for the first time.
For women who plan to become pregnant, testing is even more important. If a woman is infected with HIV, medical care and certain drugs given during pregnancy can lower the chance of passing HIV to her baby. All women who are pregnant should be tested during each pregnancy.
So, should you get an HIV test? The answer is a resounding YES! If you have used drugs intravenously….YES! If you have ever had sex or plan on having sex, regardless of what you know about your sexual partner or what you think you know, you should get tested, he should get tested, she should get tested. And, while you are at it, get tested for every other STD. It is always better safe than sorry.
December 1, 2012 is World AIDS Day. Get tested! (Have I said that enough?)
To find a testing site near you, click on the link below. Many of the sites offer free testing to all or at least those at high risk for contracting HIV as well as testing for other STDs.