15 questions to ask when getting tested
We get it – it can be scary talking about your sexual life with others or your medical provider. But it doesn’t have to be.
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, so we’re encouraging everyone to make an appointment to get tested, click here to schedule.
Not sure what to expect for STD/STI testing? We have a few pointers below:
Find a testing site you’ll be comfortable at
Looking for a clinic or testing location can be overwhelming – let alone finding a provider. Our testing site map can help you find FREE HIV testing in your area. Search now!
It is important to find a testing location where you’ll feel comfortable and to feel prepared. We spoke to sex educator, Melissa Strype (@TheBigLissa on Instagram), she gave us these tips:
- If you live in a city with a lot of options – ask around. Where have other people you know gotten tested? What was their experience? You want to look for non-judgmental providers who are inclusive of all identities.
- Schedule a time that works for you. Don’t cram it into your schedule. Give yourself enough time to process the before and after of getting tested.
- Bring a friend! They might not be able to go in with you but knowing that they’re waiting for you can help you process the whole thing and support you.
- Bring a list of questions (keep reading for our list of questions). Don’t feel rushed – you provider is there to help you and answer any questions you may have.
- Schedule something fun afterward. Getting tested can be a normal thing like getting groceries.
Plus, you also have the option to get tested from the comfort of your home with self-testing (learn more about HIV testing options here!). Just remember: By visiting a clinic, you can be directly connected to care to help you thrive or to stay undetectable.
Get ready for your appointment
Before you see your provider, make sure you bring your updated health history – like current or previous medications, to help your doctor better understand your body and health.
Also, take this time to learn about HIV testing, its importance, types of tests, and HIV prevention methods like pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP (PrEP is for those who are HIV negative, and it reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by 99%).
Knowing your HIV status should be the same as knowing whether you have diabetes. It is a part of who you are and with proper treatment and care, you can live a long, healthy life.
Remember: There’s confidence in knowing your HIV status, no matter the results.
Get your questions ready
When you visit your doctor, it might be helpful to have questions written down or on your phone ahead of time.
Save this list for your next appointment:
- Should I get tested for HIV?
- What puts me at risk for HIV?
- How can I use condoms to prevent STIs?
- How will you test me for HIV?
- Will health insurance cover HIV testing and treatment?
- Who will see my test results?
- How long will it take to get my test results?
- How will I find out my results?
- Should I get tested for any other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)?
- If I test positive for HIV, what is the next step?
- How often should I get tested?
- How can I protect myself from HIV?
- When do I need to get tested again?
- Does my sex partner need to get tested for HIV?
- Do you offer counseling on HIV prevention? If you don’t, can you recommend a place that does?
- What do my lab tests say about the health of my immune system?
Plus, your doctor might ask you the following questions:
- Are you sexually active?
- Do you have sex with men, women, or both?
- Do you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex?
- In the past year, how many sexual partners have you had?
Get the care you need
Whether you need HIV testing, support networks, PrEP, or finding a doctor, we connect you with inclusive and confidential care within 72 hours. Fill out our form now.