How often do I need to be tested for HIV?
Anytime you have shared needles during drug use or had unprotected sex, you should be getting tested for HIV. If you’ve had one or more STDs (Sexually Transmitted Virus) in the past, that increases your chances of contracting HIV through unprotected sex and drug use with needles. Keeping your sexual partners to a minimum and practicing safe sex is your best chance at staying healthy, where a once a year test is all that is needed.
Does testing negative for HIV mean I’m negative for all other STDs?
No it does not, and while on your next doctor’s visit, in addition to requesting your HIV test, request a test for all STDs. Our doctor’s are testing for certain things, like abnormal and possibly cancerous cells, during our PAPs and physicals. We need to verbally REQUEST all other testing for things such as Syphilis, Gonorrhea and HPV Human Papilloma Virus).
If I only give and receive oral sex, am I still at risk of contracting and passing along the HIV virus?
The risk exists but is extremely hard to determine. It’s advised to partake in this type of sexual activity only with partners you have a trusting and perhaps monogamous relationship with.
I tested Positive for HIV; what do I do now?
If you test positive for the HIV virus, prompt medical attention and consultation is an absolute necessity. Early medical treatment and a healthy lifestyle can delay the onset of AIDS, which is the disease. To determine when is the best time to start HIV medications your doctor will take 2 tests: one is a viral load test which determines how much HIV is in your blood stream; the other is a T-cell test, also known as a CD4 count, which determines how strong your immune system is. There are cases of people living with the HIV virus for up to 10 years without a single symptom, but that isn’t for you to determine on your own.
Your doctor will want to test you for Tuberculosis and other STD’s as they can cause serious health problems for you.