You probably know you need to get tested, but if you’ve been under a rock for the past three decades (or were educated in one of the 30 states that doesn’t require mandatory high school sex education and HIV education), then consider yourself informed. Some reasons why
- If you don’t know your status, you’re dangerous to your sex partners. The Centers for Disease Control says that around 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and 20% of those don’t know they’ve got the virus. And if you’re one of those HIV-positive people who doesn’t know it, you’re three times likelier to transmit the virus to someone else.
- It’s covered. Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, makes HIV testing part of regular preventative care during a check-up at your doctor’s office.
- It’s easier than ever. Locator.AIDS.gov [www.Locator.AIDS.gov] is a web site that will show you locations in your area where you can be tested throughout the United States. That includes clinics, HIV testing centers, family planning centers, and other places where you can get a test. And if you don’t want to take the test at your doctor’s office or in a testing center, you can take it at home. In 2012 the FDA approved the first over-the-counter test that you can administer to yourself wherever you are.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services explains it all too, in case you need further convincing.