Let me see those papers…
Let’s say you’re in a relationship getting to know somebody. Some time goes by and you want to take it to the next level. You know, to the physical level. So during your discussion on the matter, you ask her/him to see the papers to prove that she/he has been tested and is free of infection. (insert screeching sound here) What? Too much?
In a time where sexual contamination seems to be at its peak, and in a time where most people infected with something don’t know about it, I think it ought to be a relationship requirement to see proof from one’s partner that all is clear in the southern hemisphere. My thought is that if you’re grown enough to have sex, then you ought to be grown enough to discuss sex in its entirety. This includes discussion on ways to ensure everyone’s safety. Isn’t better to be safe than sorry?
I, as well as many sex ed and medical professionals suggest that you have screenings done with your regular medical checkups. The CDC recommends that anyone who is sexually active be tested at least once every 6 months. In spite of that recommendation, however, most people are tested on the basis of their risk factors for getting HIV. You should get tested for HIV at least every year if you:
- Share needles/syringes or other equipment (“works”) for injecting drugs
- Have a history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Have had unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with multiple or anonymous partners. Or if you have had had unprotected sex with a partner who did not know their own HIV status.
Some healthcare providers may recommend testing every 3-6 months if you have certain risk factors, including injection drug use and/or unprotected sex with others who engage in high-risk behaviors. (www.aids.gov) The good thing is that we have technology on our side and a rapid HIV test takes only 20 minutes from start to finish! Other tests may call for either a urine or small blood sample.
If you are invested in your partner, and more importantly, if you are invested in yourself, it’s completely worth it to get yourself tested. Get tested together. It’s better to be proactive and have a peaceful mind than have to figure out a solution to a tricky situation.
Written by Chanel Jaali for Vitamin C Magazine 2012. All rights reserved.