Taking the initiative to get tested for HIV is a big step in taking control of your health. There’s no arguing that, at first, it can be quite intimidating. But, when it comes to having that discussion with your man or sexual partner, things can become really uncomfortable. Be that as it may, knowing your and your partner’s HIV status is essential to having a good sexual relationship. So asking your man to get tested–if he hasn’t already–is a bridge you’ll have to cross. Here’s how to do it without the hassle.
Get tested together
Many times people avoid getting tested because they are nervous or uncomfortable. Going with someone and getting tested together can help alleviate some of that anxiety and nervousness. Instead of asking your partner to go get tested on his own, make it mutual thing and request to go get tested together. This will make the conversation less awkward and more inclusive showing that you’re down to get tested as well.
Know Your Status First
Another way to approach your partner about getting tested for HIV is to come to the discussion armed with knowledge of your own status. By letting your partner know that you’ve already been tested and sharing your status with him shows that you’re serious about both your health and his. This is a gentle way to initiate conversation about his status and help empower him to get tested for the both of you as well.
Have the Facts
It’s easy for people to come up with excuses for things when they’re based on opinions, but it becomes a bit harder when presented with the facts. So many people aren’t really aware of HIV statistics and the impact on our communities especially. When discussing getting tested with your man, make sure to highlight the most alarming HIV statistics like this one by the CDC that states “while blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they account for almost half of people living with HIV in the U.S (46%)”. Knowledge is power and by helping your partner get informed they become more open to getting tested.
Stand Your Ground
Even in this day and age, talking about HIV can be uncomfortable but, that’s no reason to dismiss someone. However, if after you take the initiative to get tested, offer to accompany your partner to get tested, help to inform them about HIV and they still aren’t open to it, it’s time to move on. Your health is important and if the person you are with doesn’t care about yours or their own, there’s no reason to stick around. Stand your ground and protect your health.
Learn more about how HIV is spread so you can protect yourself and your partners by visiting NLM.