HIV Testing

Getting tested will give you the opportunity to live a healthy and full life on treatment or take the right action to stay negative...think about it!

It is recommended that every person should test as part of routine health care.

People at higher risk should get tested more often. If you were HIV-negative and the last time you were tested was more than one year ago, and you answer yes to any of these questions, get an HIV test as soon as possible because the following increases your chances of getting the virus:

  • Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
  • Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner?
  • Have you had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test?
  • Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works with others?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or sought treatment for an STI?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for Hepatitis or Tuberculosis (TB)?
  • Have you had sex with someone who could answer YES to any of these questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?

You should be tested at least once a year if you keep doing any of these things. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).

If you’re pregnant, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for HIV and other ways to protect you and your baby from getting HIV.

Before having sex for the first time with a new partner, you and your partner should talk about your sexual and drug-use history, disclose your HIV status, and consider getting tested for HIV and learning the results.

How can testing help me?
The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.

  • If you test positive, you can take medicine to treat HIV. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed can stay healthy for many years. ARVs help prevent transmission to others.
  • If you test negative, there are more HIV prevention tools available today than ever before.
  • If you are pregnant, you should be tested for HIV so that you can begin treatment if you test positive. If an HIV-positive woman is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby is very low.

Ask your Pharmacist or the
Pharmacy Nurse about testing

Even if you are in a monogamous relationship (both you and your partner are having sex only with each other), you should find out for sure whether you or your partner has HIV.
References: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/testing.html ; www.sahivsoc.org
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