Be in the Know: HIV & Testing
September 23, 2013 by Noël Gordon, Senior Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity
Did you know your HIV test result expires every time you have unprotected sex? According to the Centers for Disease Control:
The first step in protecting your health and the health of your partners is to make sure you know your HIV status. Getting an HIV test is the only way to know if you have HIV. A general rule is to get tested at least annually. However, gay and bisexual men may benefit from getting an HIV test more often, like every 3-6 months. To be fully in charge of your health, it’s important to understand the window period. This is the period right after someone gets infected but before infection shows up on an HIV test.
Knowledge is power! Knowing your status is a source of strength, not a reason for fear. When you know your status, you can take care of yourself, and you are less likely to transmit the virus. Research has shown that if people know they have HIV, they often take steps to protect their partners.
The CDC estimates that about 20% of Americans who are HIV-positive aren’t aware of their status. Find a testing site near you and get tested often to be in the know.
This Friday, September 27, is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. All week, HRC is highlighting important facts about HIV/AIDS with daily social graphics to help promote awareness as part of its #BeintheKnow campaign. Stay tuned to the HRC blog for more graphics and guest blog posts from organizations that have long been leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the stigma that can accompany it.
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