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HIV Testing Should Be on Every Woman’s To-Do List

March 10, 2016 No Comments
Always make time for girlfriends, HIV testing, and cake

Life can be incredibly busy. From family to work and more, it seems like there are always more tasks than there is time. With so many items that must get done and so few hours, it is VERY easy to push self-care to the bottom of my list. Taking care of my body and mind becomes a last priority. We are all guilty of it.

However, there’s no time like the present to change that for the better.

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day of education, empowerment, and action. We use this day to take a step back and think about our health and how we take care of ourselves. We only have one life. It is worth protecting and you must be the one to do so. The best defense is a good offense. For Black women, HIV testing needs to be part of your strategy.

Do I need a HIV test?

HIV testing is free, fast, and confidential. And, almost everyone should be doing it. In fact, the CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Those with certain risk factors should get tested more often. If you aren’t 100% sure of your HIV status, then add “get tested” to the top of your to-do list.

What happens after I get tested for HIV?

The first step to protecting your health is getting tested. If you learn that you are living with HIV, get connected to a care team, which can include doctors, a case manager, peer supporters, and a specially-trained pharmacist. Available treatments are very effective; can prolong life; and may also reduce risk of transmission by reducing the amount of the virus in your body. If your test is negative, you can take action to continue to protect yourself and your status.

Talking about HIV prevention, testing, and treatment is key to fighting stigma and ending this epidemic.

To find a testing site near you, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636); visit cdc.gov/DoingIt; or text your ZIP code to KNOW IT (566948).

I know what I have to do today. Do you?

Updated: January 22, 2022


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