The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that impairs the immune system, the body’s natural defence against illness. If left untreated, HIV can weaken the immune system to the point where it can no longer fight infection. AIDS is a life-threatening late stage of infection.
HIV is a life-threatening infection that can affect people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. Despite the fact that over 40,000 persons in the United States are diagnosed with HIV each year, one out of every four HIV-positive people is unaware of their status.
The good news is that identifying HIV and receiving therapy has never been simpler. Virus-infected individuals have an excellent chance of living a long, healthy, and happy life. Let’s take a look at why HIV testing is necessary and what advantages it can provide.
Why Is It So Important to Get an HIV Test?
An HIV test is the only way to find out if you have the virus. Even if you’re feeling fine, you should get tested for AIDS because symptoms might take years to appear. It is critical to know your HIV status, whether positive or negative, in order to receive treatment and prevent the disease from spreading.
HIV is spread from person to person by bodily fluids such as blood and sperm. As a result, unprotected sexual activity and sharing needles while using drugs are two of the most common ways for people to contract HIV. If you’ve done these things with someone whose HIV status is unknown, it’s vital that you be tested. Once you know your HIV status, you can seek treatment and make measures to prevent the spread of HIV to others.
What Are the Benefits of Getting Tested for HIV?
Knowing your HIV status is a great way to protect your health and the health of others you care about. Getting tested for HIV has a lot of benefits, whether your findings are positive or negative:
- The exam is easy to take and takes only a few minutes to complete: During an HIV test, doctors take a sample of blood or saliva to analyze. You’ll know if you have the illness in about 20 minutes. Almost all HIV tests are provided free of charge.
- The following actions can help you live a healthier life: If your test results show you have HIV, you can get the treatment you need to be healthy. People living with HIV can now live long, normal lives thanks to antiretroviral drugs.
- You can protect your companions by following these steps: You can protect your current and future sexual partners while also urging former partners to get tested if you know your HIV status.
- It has the potential to give you peace of mind: If you suspect you have HIV, you may be hesitant to be tested. It’s reasonable to feel concerned about your circumstances, but acting on your concerns is always preferable to dismissing them. You can have peace of mind by taking an HIV test.
Are you willing to take an HIV test?
For people who are at risk, HIV testing has a number of advantages. If you’re ready to learn your HIV status, make an appointment with Hamilton Health Center. We offer free, confidential HIV testing Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All Central Pennsylvania citizens, regardless of age, income, or insurance status, are welcome to receive HIV testing and counseling, as well as STD testing for all other diseases.