Knowing your HIV status is one of the most powerful things you can do for your health, so why not book an appointment to get tested today.
1) Testing is free on the NHS
It’s free. If you’re in the UK you can book yourself in for a free HIV test. There are some walk-in clinics and organisations around the UK, but you can always book an appointment at a sexual health clinic near you.
2) It’s really really quick
From a drop of blood, the HIV test is super quick and takes just minutes. No waiting around for results, no needles, just a quick finger prick.
3) Knowledge is power
Someone who knows their HIV status for sure, whether they are negative or positive is safer to hook up with than someone who isn’t sure. Thanks to treatments which can bring someone’s viral load down to undetectable, makes the possibility of passing on HIV almost impossible. You should find out more about the campaign UEqualsU – which stands for undetectable equals untransmittable.
4) Get the treatment and support you need.
Once you know your status, particularly if it comes back positive you can begin to take action to keep you and your sexual partner(s) healthy. In the UK HIV medication and care is free.
5) Can’t pass HIV on
Taking HIV medication as prescribed means you can’t pass the virus on. The sooner you’re on the right, prescribed medication, the quicker you can get back to having the sex you want.
6) Keep you and your partner healthy.
Not knowing whether you have HIV or not means you can’t take steps to prevent passing on HIV to your partner(s).
7) Make it part of your sex life.
It’s recommended that you test regularly, particularly if you have multiple partners. So if you enjoy a regular sex life, make testing part of it.
8) It’s confidential
Testing for HIV is confidential. Your details won’t be passed on to anyone else.
9) You can do it from home
Yes, you can even get HIV tests direct to your door. The Terrence Higgins Trust offers free or low-cost HIV kits for home testing.
The resident Agony Uncle for THEGAYUK.com with over seven years of counselling experience with the LGBT+ community.