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Am I Infected?
(A Guide to Testing for HIV)
en español

Introduction

Getting tested for HIV is a smart thing to do. Yet many people refuse to get tested. They find the idea of getting tested so frightening they just don't want to do it, even though they will often continue to be stressed and worried about whether they're infected. Others think of testing as unnecessary because they believe, or want to believe, that HIV is something that won't touch them.

Many times when someone gets tested, they happily find out their concern about being infected was unfounded. Getting the assurance of that negative test result can provide an enormous relief. It can also increase the motivation to take actions to stay negative. For others, getting tested and learning they are HIV positive is the first important step towards staying healthy.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there are about 1.1 million HIV-positive people in the United States. Of that number, the CDC estimates one in five (21 percent) are unaware of their HIV status. Often healthy in appearance and feeling well, they aren't receiving proper health care. Being unaware of their HIV status also makes it more likely they will unknowingly pass the HIV virus to others.

One of the most basic truths about HIV is that gender, age, race and economic status are irrelevant when it comes to vulnerability to HIV. Anyone can become infected. The HIV epidemic is going to be with us for a long time to come. At present there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications that have proven to be very effective in keeping HIV-positive people alive longer and healthier.

Because knowing your accurate HIV status is essential to your good health, HIV testing is something everyone needs to know about.


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Last Revised: June 04, 2013

This content is written by the POZ and AIDSmeds editorial team. For more information, please visit our "About Us" page.

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