Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to HIV. Did you know that the longer you don’t know you’re HIV positive, the worse it could be for your health? Getting tested regularly means you can take action to control your HIV, if it turns out you are positive.
Here are some great reasons why you should get tested regularly (every 3 to 6 months).
1. Knowing your status gives you power. Knowledge empowers you to make the best decisions for your life. You have the choice to allow HIV to dominate you or for you to take charge of it.
2. The sooner you start treatment the better. If you know your positive status you can start treatment immediately to keep the virus under control. It could help your immune system recover faster and earlier treatment may improve your response to ARVs (HIV medicine).
3. You could add years to your life. HIV could be damaging your health right now and you might not even know it. Treatment will keep you healthier and means a longer and better life.
4. You can start living better. A healthy lifestyle, including exercise and a good diet, helps your body fight against HIV. If you know your HIV status, you can start making lifestyle changes that will keep you feeling on top of the world.
5. You’ll be protecting your partners. Knowing your status helps you be a better lover. Treatment reduces the amount of HIV in your body and semen which means that it also reduces the chances of you passing it on to other people, especially those you care about. An ‘undetectable’ HIV status mean you can’t pass it on.
6. Testing is easy, free and confidential. A lot of clinics offer free testing; it will only take a few minutes and someone will give you support and advice if you are positive.
7. If you happen to test positive for HIV, treatment is free, simple and effective. So, what’s the problem?
Contact the TEN81 clinic in Pretoria. We provide FREE testing and HIV treatment to men who have sex with men. If you’re not in Pretoria or Gauteng, we will suggest a friendly clinic or service near you. Call us on 012 430 3272.