Should I get tested for HIV?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “an estimated one fourth of individuals living with HIV do not know they have the virus.”

Most people never think that a life-threatening illness could happen to them, which actually increases their risk for some diseases like HIV. In the LGBTQ community, HIV is one of the most common medical conditions that can easily be prevented. Although some may not see the need for regular testing, it can save your life and the lives of your future partners. Learn why getting tested for HIV is important:

Many in our community are engaging in sex where pregnancy isn't a concern, so condoms and other preventative measures are not used as often as they should be. Condoms don't only prevent pregnancy, but in some cases they can also help prevent STDs, including HIV, from spreading. Since our community is rarely concerned about pregnancy, regular STD screenings are crucial, especially if you have recently engaged in unsafe sex. Always take preventative measures and communicate with your partners, and don't be afraid to ask them to get tested before you engage in sex without condoms.

While scientists have been working to find the cure for HIV since its discovery, we can't only depend on a cure when we can easily protect ourselves. Getting tested is the only way to know if you have HIV. This gives you the ability to access treatment earlier and keep your sexual partners safe, healthy, and more aware.

Luckily, there are safe places for the LGBTQ community to receive affordable care and support. While we may not always feel in control of life due to injustices inflicted by others, we are always in control of our sexual health. CIRCLE CARE Center serves to empower our community and offers a wide variety of healthcare services. Visit our website or call us at 203.852.9525, to learn more about how we can live our healthiest, best lives and inspire positive growth in our community.