I would like to first take a second to say that you don’t have to wait until something seems wrong to go get tested. Lots of women these days think “ I don’t want to be seen coming out of a clinic”, and if this is you sis, that’s just childish. If someone does say something about you coming out of a clinic, you’ll either have proof of negative results, or you’ll have a much bigger problem to worry about. Either way it’s a good thing you went to the clinic. However, since you’re reading this, I can tell you either live a health focused life or have at least abandoned that aforementioned mindset, and you’re wondering how you can stay healthy in a world where tuning up comes first and health comes last.
The CDC says anyone over 13 should be tested whether you are sexually active or not (read that here). Simply because sex is not the only way you can contract the disease. If you are sexually active you would need to determine your risk factor to see exactly how often you should be tested, and then actually make time to go.
What is my risk factor?
So one of the biggest and most common risk factors used to determine how often you should be tested is how often you are having unprotected sex with anyone. Even when you’re in long term relationship or a marriage you can get tested less often, but you and your partner should still be going to get yourselves tested. If you’re out here “doing you” then you may want to go a little more often, so that you stay aware and (no pun intended) on top of your sexual health.
Okay, so when should I go then?
Personally, I go when I get a new partner, or when I know i’m about to get one. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing your status. With so many different things that can happen down there, especially for us women, you don’t want to be scared about every little thing. Knowing your HIV status can bring you more peace of mind at least in that area of your life. If you change partners often, you should go whenever you get a new partner. I do even if I am going to be using protection with them. Since there is medicine you can take to help you not contract it, it makes a lot of since to go even if you already had sex with a new guy. (however it can be expensive so being careful is always the first line of defense). If you aren’t switching partners that often then twice a year or even yearly with your annual exam is often enough. No matter what though, knowledge is power, and we are all about empowering women here at BGH!
For more information, and additional tips and tricks to stay safe, You can always check out more HIV/AIDS information at the U.S. National Library of Medicine here at their MedlinePlus website.
And don’t forget to live your best healthy life sis!