October 25, 2013
So, the only way to know your HIV Status is by getting tested. You go through:
- Pre-Test Counseling
- HIV Antibody screening (or Rapid test, in some cases)
- Post-test counseling
But we know so many people who are just afraid to take the test for so many varied (and seemingly to their perception, valid) reasons. I have personally encountered a few:
- “If I have it, I have it.” Yes, if you have it, you have it. And you don’t know it. How will you know your status and your actual condition if you don’t get tested?
- “I’m afraid to find out.” This has by far got to be the most common excuse we hear. While I respect your right to your own fears, there must come a time when we face our fears. How will you know your status and your actual condition if you don’t get tested?
- “I can’t handle it If I were tested positive.” It’s not an easy road to take, If you were tested positive, support groups are there to help. The seemingly unending stigma in our society seems to push us further away from finding out our serostatus. With this stigma is our outright judgment that our own loved ones won’t understand–that we will get thrown out. So How will you know your status and your actual condition if you don’t get tested?
And so the reasons, er– the excuses just keep on coming.
Now let me tell you some reasons why you should get tested:
- http://hivtest.cdc.gov/reasons/ says that Knowing your HIV status is a powerful tool. Knowing your status allows you take better care of yourself and your loved one — positive or negative.
- http://aids.about.com/od/toptenlists/tp/whytest.htm gives you 5 reasons including early intervention, protecting your loved ones, asking the right questions, allows you to make the informed decisions and GET the most out of your doctor’s visits.
- More reasons from http://www.knowyourstatustoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/OSUR-TOP-10-REASONS.pdf — including if you’re negative, if you’re (planning to get) pregnant.
You can go on the internet and search for reasons why people take the test and why a lot of people haven’t or won’t take the test.
My personal take is:
Knowing your status gives you a second chance — positive or negative.
So go out and get tested, we have a lot of confidential testing centers in and out of the Metro.
And yes, not everyone would have it as easy as every other Pedro or Maria out there, but the sooner we know our status, the sooner we can take control of our lives.
Get Tested. Or Not. It’s your choice.