Did you know that one in seven people with HIV doesn’t even know they have it?
Part of why is the stigma that still surrounds HIV and AIDS. Many people seem to think the stigma has died out, but they’re neither involved in our communities nor paying attention. Better medications and prevention methods exist, but the stigma of HIV and AIDS remains. This is especially true in the deep south.
Today is National HIV Testing Day here in the states – and a day to talk about erasing some of that stigma.
I’ve been there. I’ve been tested a few times in my life. Each time, I shook in the waiting room before the appointment. Each time, I cried in the car on the way home. It’s as if getting tested meant I was admitting to some moral indiscretion that doesn’t exist.
Hell, one of those times was just before my wedding. I had not had any experiences that led me to exposure and still was told I needed to be tested pre-wedding. Neither hubs nor myself are generally exposed and the experience honestly left a bad taste in my mouth.
Each time, I received negative results.
What matters most in getting tested is having a good experience (unlike the last one I had!). Sometimes, all it takes is a cultural barrier to turn people off from getting tested regularly.
Want to learn more?
Check out the new HIV Risk Reduction Tool (RRT)
Check out the amazing HIV and AIDS activists below:
- Aaron Laxton
- Benjamin Di’Costa
- Daniel Garza
- Josh Middleton
- Josh Robbins
- Kamaria Laffrey
- Kevin Maloney
- Robert Breining
Most importantly, find a test center near you and get tested!