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Start the conversation and take control of your health

It can be uncomfortable to talk about what happens in the bedroom (especially with your doctor) but it’s crucial to do so if you’re sexually active. 

If you were waiting for a sign to make an appointment, June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.

Free and confidential testing is available near you. Click here to schedule an appointment.

Have a few questions before you test? Keep reading to find out how to talk to your doctor about your status.

Prepare for your appointment

If you’re seeing a provider, bring your updated health history – including any current or previous medications you may be taking. This helps your doctor better understand you and how your body works. 

Want to discuss HIV?

Learn about the disease from resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or HIV.gov.

Not sure what to ask? We have a few examples below.

Don’t be embarrassed 

There’s no shame in wanting to know if you have HIV or not.

About 46% of adults in the U. S. have been tested for HIV at least once, which meets the CDC recommendation but for those at higher risk, the recommendation is to test at least once a year. 

When talking to your doctor, be honest and direct – they will not judge you.

Start by explaining why you want to get tested and ask about HIV prevention methods like pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, an HIV prevention option for people who are not HIV+ currently.

When taken as prescribed, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by 99%.

Ask questions 

  • Do I need to get tested for HIV?
  • How often should I get tested?
  • How can I prevent HIV? What about PrEP and PEP?
  • How can I use condoms to prevent STDs and HIV?
  • How often do I need to see you? When should my next appointment be? 
  • Am I at risk if I have several partners? What if I am in a monogamous relationship?
  • Will health insurance cover HIV testing and treatment?

Also, expect your doctor to ask you questions, like: 

  • 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? 
  • Are you sexually active? 

Why should I get tested? 

You may want to know your status if:

  • You’re in a new relationship
  • It’s been a while since you were last tested 
  • Your partner is HIV+
  • You’ve had unprotected sex 
  • You want to start a family 
  • You have several partners 

Also, knowing your status allows you to take control of your health. If HIV+, you can still live a long and healthy life. You can have intimate relationships and don’t have to rule out starting a family.

If you’re diagnosed with HIV, talk to your doctor about antiretroviral therapy (ART) – an HIV treatment that can help you get to U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable).

Need someone to share your journey with? Online sites like POZ PersonalsPositive SinglesHIV People Meet, and POZ Community ForumsHIV/AIDS Therapy Tribe are just a click away! 

Where can I find a provider? 

Click here to find a testing site near you! And fill out our linkage to care form to connect with confidential care, support and resources.