Did you know that in the United States more than one million people are living with HIV? And more than 500,000 of those are Black Americans. Many of those infected, don’t even know it. HIV/AIDS has become an ignorant stigma in the gay community; however, we cannot neglect the disproportionate about of cases for gay men and black women.
With National HIV Testing Day today, there is no better suggestion than finding a clinic or visiting your doctor for a check up. For National HIV Testing Day, health officials encourage those between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested at least one to twice a year.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual testing for people at higher risk of HIV infection, including drug users, gay and bisexual men, or people who have multiple sex partners. According to reports, sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from even more frequent testing – perhaps every three to six months, the CDC said.
As part of National HIV Testing Day, we’ve found some tips the CDC recommends:
- Asking your doctor for an HIV test or finding a place to get tested in your community. For help in finding a testing place, go to www.hivtest.org, call 1-800-CDC-INFO or text your zip code to “KNOW IT” (566948). A quick Google search can help you locate different facilities in your area. Testing is confidential, so no need to be embarrassed.
- Getting tested once a year, or more often if you have more than one sex partner, inject drugs, or are a gay or bisexual man. For a hard fast rule, goal yourself at getting testing twice a year. Keep your papers on you that way you can have a timeline of your sexual behavior/activity in between tests.
- Lowering your HIV risk by having sex with only one partner — someone you know is uninfected. Or using a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Many times we shy away from condoms. Too many slip-ups or the wrong slip-up can change your life drastically. Love yourself and protector you and your partner.
- Getting medical care as soon as possible if you have HIV to stay healthier longer and to keep from passing the virus to others. If you know someone infected, be sure to encourage them to seek regular treatment. That’s what friends are for.
- Starting the conversation with your partner is important. Ask questions about sexual behavior and past experiences.
Check out this video by Greater Than AIDS-