Believe it or not, no one really wants to have HIV. Yes, it is a virus you can live with and we see wonderful billboards of people living healthy lives but, does anyone really want to contract the virus. As a HIV test counselor I am responsible for informing people if they are HIV positive or negative. It is never an easy task letting someone know they have HIV but I would rather they know than walk around unknowingly infecting others. However, I always come across those who have reasons for not taking a HIV test. Below are some of the reasons I hear. Which one is your excuse?
I was just tested last week.
It is amazing the amount of people who were just tested the week before I offered a test. What are the odds of that? Maybe I should have asked a week earlier; oh, but guaranteed I would still be week too late.
I’m not gay.
You’re also dated in your thoughts about the virus. HIV being labeled as a ‘gay disease’ is so 80’s. In case you haven’t noticed, people from all walks of life are contracting the virus: gay, straight, Black, White, Brown, Christian, Atheist, scholarly, and street. Pick a genre and I guarantee they have a HIV positive representative.
I only top dudes, I’m never the bottom.
Sooooooooooooo being a ‘top’ is your safer sex practice? Anal sex is anal sex and whether you are the giver or receiver you’re still at risk. HIV infection can occur during sexual activity. Sex is safe only if there is no HIV, no blood or sexual fluids, or no way for HIV to get into the body. That being said, YOU -unprotected- inside any sexual orifice (anus or vagina) is a risk.
I don’t like needles.
That’s funny, because you are covered in tattoos and you even have your tongue pierced. However, just for clarity, the device used to obtain blood for the test is a lancet. Although it is similar to a needle the feeling is closer to getting your ears pierced. The lancet has a rapid fire feel to it, whereas the needle must go into the arm and withdraw blood, a lancet merely pricks the surface causing a droplet of blood to form. Trust me when I say that you would rather be tested via a lancet than walk around unknowingly infected.
I don’t feel sick.
Neither did a majority of the people who found out they were HIV positive. There are little to no signs of HIV infection. The best way to know your HIV status is to get tested.
I don’t have a lot of time right now.
The rapid HIV test takes 20 minutes. Better yet, the Insti test (the one I administer) takes 60 seconds. That being said, are you still short on time? I mean, the time it took you to think of that excuse was longer than the test time.
You guys are not offering any incentives.
WHAT?!?! I need to pay you to find out your HIV status? I cannot even begin to elaborate on how asinine this mentality is. However, it is no fault of the client that we have created a system that makes them think they are doing us a favor by finding out the status of their health.
Of course there are lots more but these are the top used. What is your excuse for not getting tested? Does it make sense to everyone, or just you? Remember, there are no signs or symptoms and everyone needs to know their status. Before engaging in intercourse with a new partner, KNOW THEIR STATUS. This is not about judgment, it is about staying healthy. I don’t care if you have over a hundred partners, or just two solid ones; get tested.