Getting Tested Regularly
In all honesty, I can acknowledge that something like HIV can really make you nervous. Not only nervous about getting tested but nervous to even talk about the subject in public.
For a while, at the beginning of my diagnosis, I was scared to talk about HIV because of the things I felt that I was going to hear other people say.
Even though HIV is no longer a death sentence, people can still be uneducated when it comes to talking about individuals living with HIV, especially when they are unaware of them being in the room.
At the end of the day, we each must take control of our overall health. What this means is that you should be looking at your health through different avenues, and you should be tackling each one.
A holistic approach encompasses your physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health.
Getting a routing HIV test
I believe that getting a routine HIV test can target a few approaches to your health. A routine HIV test can be part of your physical health mostly but can also help with both mental and social health. If you are sexually active, then it is always good to follow the testing guidelines.
Getting tested can help with your mental health as well to give you peace of mind knowing that you are taking care of not only yourself but of others that you are having sex.
Normalizing HIV tests
I believe that getting a routine HIV test also plays a role in your social health because the more you normalize getting tested for HIV, the more comfortable you will feel talking about it. There are so many ways to talk about HIV in a social setting or with friends.
Many LGBTQ+ organizations hold group-level interventions that cover topics like HIV/AIDS, STI, and safe sex practices. Many of these groups promote routine HIV testing and provide a safe space for people to be open and honest about their sexual health.
Feeling comfortable when getting tested
If you are new to getting a routine HIV test, then you need to really do research and see what clinic or organization you feel most comfortable at. Throughout the year, many places also incentivize you to get tested by giving out things like gift cards, movie tickets, or getting into a raffle to win prizes.
If you are nervous about getting an HIV test, then think about some of the cool things you can get just to focus on your health. I know that an HIV test can be a frightening thing. Whether you are newly diagnosed or someone who is new to HIV testing, you must always put yourself and your health first.
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