10 Reasons You Should Get an HIV Test

Whether it has been six months or six years, going to get an HIV test is usually something that you dread. That’s a problem for those of us who want to encourage you to swab your mouth or prick your finger. Finding the right message to get you in the door can be a little tricky.  We want people who are HIV-negative to value their health, protect themselves, and be smart when it comes to HIV prevention. On the other hand, we don’t want to strong arm you or use tactics that will have you fearing HIV as the death knell it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Too often, that fear of HIV — or HIV stigma — backfires anyway, making people avoid getting tested, which is a huge problem, especially when more than half of young gay and bi men who are HIV-positive don’t know it.

So here’s the truth. You may not want HIV, but if you have it, it’s much better to know you are HIV-positive so you can seek treatment and get back to living a happy, healthy, tra-la-la life.

Here are 10 reasons to get tested today, no matter what the outcome may be.

1. You just met someone new and you need to know your status so you can protect him and yourself.

Finding a good guy is great. Going into a new relationship knowing your HIV-status is even better.

2. Your best friend is scared to get an HIV test and you are getting tested too, to show your solidarity and moral support.

Whether the test is his idea or yours, it’s great to get tested with friend, especially if you know he’s been putting it off for way too long. Show him that he has your support no matter what the outcome.

3. Your last HIV test was six months ago and you’ve had a slip-up on safer sex since then.

The good news is you got some action! The bad news is your status is now in question. Get in there, get tested, and get some peace of mind.

4. You’ve had flu-like symptoms for a while but nobody else around you is sick.

Sure, you could just have a number of other medical conditions, but ruling out HIV is a great place to start. And if you’re HIV-positive, getting on treatment is the best way to knock out those symptoms before they become more serious.

5. You’ve been telling everyone that you’re HIV-negative, but deep down you aren’t really sure.

Quit putting it off and get certainty. You wouldn’t want your new date telling you he’s negative without really knowing. Step up and learn your status.

6. You’re considering going on PrEP.

You can’t go on PrEP without a test to verify you’re still HIV-negative. So why not find out your status while chatting with your doctor about the HIV prevention pill?

7. The guy you just started dating is HIV-positive.

You found a great guy and you aren’t put off by his status. To keep things sexy and safe, you need to know your status too.

8. Your health is important and you want to keep it.

Whatever the outcome, a proactive approach to your HIV status is the first step to living your healthiest life.

9. You are thinking about starting a family.

An HIV-positive diagnosis won’t stop you from becoming a parent, but it does inform steps you may need to take to ensure your child is healthy.

10. You’ve run out of excuses not to get tested.

An HIV test is an empowering thing. They’re cheap or free, easy to take, and can help you take control of your physical  —  and sexual — health. What are you waiting for?