The only way to know your HIV status for sure is to get tested. You cannot tell if someone is HIV positive or negative by looking at them. A person who is HIV positive may look and feel perfectly well, and be unaware that they are infected. Knowing your status places you in charge of your health and reduces your chances of passing HIV to your partner(s) or child.
Should I Get Tested?
Yes! The CDC recommends that everyone 13 to 64 years of age get tested at least once per year if sexually active. Before having sex with a new partner, you and your partner should talk about your sexual and substance use history, your HIV status, and think about getting tested for HIV together. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can access treatments to help you manage the condition and delay the onset of AIDS, if you test positive for HIV.
Keep in mind that no HIV test can detect the virus immediately after infection. If you think that you have been infected with HIV, speak with your doctor or search for Testing Locations in your area.
Some testing centers offer confidential or anonymous testing. Either way, all of your health information and test results are protected and kept confidential.
The Benefits Of Getting Tested
- No more worrying about your status. Once you get tested, you know your status for sure and can make future plans depending on your test results.
- The earlier you get tested and get in treatment, the easier it is to keep your immune system healthy.
- Early diagnosis and treatment help prevent the spread of HIV.
- If you are pregnant and HIV positive, early treatment can reduce the chances of passing HIV to your child. Without treatment HIV positive women have a 1 in 4 chance of infecting their baby during pregnancy and birth.
- You are now in charge of your own health and can encourage others to get tested.
- Your doctor can monitor your immune system and help you avoid other diseases.