As National HIV Testing week draws close, the reasons to test for HIV have never been clearer.

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HIV is 3 letters, not a sentence. Especially for those who are able to treat the virus, and early detection means better results and a longer, healthier life. Here are eight reasons to test for HIV.

1) Be In The Know. According to Public Health England there are 103,700 people in the UK living with HIV. Over 18,000 of them don’t know they have it – and could be spreading the virus even further. There are an estimated 6,500 gay or bisexual men who don’t know that they are living with HIV.

2) Early Bird. Early detection means better results from the treatment for HIV, resulting in a longer, healthier life.

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3) You’re Not Alone. If you’re afraid that you might not cope with a HIV diagnosis, there are loads and loads of support groups, charities and healthcare professionals to help you. All you have to do is ask for help. You won’t have to face HIV alone.

4) Stigma Exists. One of the most difficult things many people living with HIV find is the stigma that still exists around the status. Medicine has come a long way; society has yet to follow on as quickly. Getting tested often means that you could be more mindful about your health.

5) Knowledge Is Power. Sleeping with someone who knows that they are HIV positive could be safer than having sex with someone who doesn’t know their status and may take more risks.

6) Restart The Clock. Without being glib, many people who have learnt that they are HIV positive have talked about feeling the opportunity to restart the clock. Changes to lifestyle and diet become a priority and general interest in your health can only be a good thing.

7) Engaged With Your Sex. Getting tested means you’re taking responsibility for your general health and your sexual health – good for you and great for the people you sleep with.

8) No Longer Need To Go The Clinic. You can now get a self-test kit that can be performed wherever and whenever is convenient for you. Best of all with the BioSure kit you only need half a drop of blood and not a vial full that some other kits require. Testing yourself just takes seconds with easy to read results in only 15 minutes, without you having to send them off to a lab. No waiting in the sexual health clinic. No waiting a week for results to be texted to you.

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