I normally only post once a week but I felt the need to spread the word about a very important day. HIV/AIDS is still a touchy subject because of the stigma attached to having the disease. But anyone who is having unprotected sex should be tested for HIV every time they change partners. I had gone through a period of years of not being sexually active, so I thought taking an HIV test would be a big waste of time. I put it off for many years until one day my doctor talked me into taking the test just so I would know my status for sure. I was negative, but that experience taught there is no profile for HIV/AIDS. Anyone can have it. There are many people who are carriers that never experience any symptoms of the disease but can pass it on to their partners.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 is National HIV Testing Day. Many public health departments will be giving the test Thursday – Saturday, free of charge. Everyone is encouraged to be tested. Especially if you are sexually active with multiple partners or have recently changed partners. Doctor’s know enough about the virus now that it can be managed if caught in the early stages. People with full blown AIDS are able to live longer now as a result of new technology and research.
I’m sure we all know or have known someone with HIV or AIDS. I write this post in memory of a young man I once knew who died of AIDS almost 8 years ago now, and for a family member currently living with HIV. What people afflicted by this disease need is our continued love and support. HIV/AIDS is no longer just a “gay man‘s” disease. It affects everyone, with most new cases being among women and children. There are several things you can do to help in the fight to eradicate HIV/AIDS.
The Little Things You Can Do Today
- Get tested. It’s easy and free and everyone should know their status.
- Educate yourself on the disease. Learn how it is transmitted and how it is not.
- Always practice safe sex unless you are in a long term, committed relationship with someone whose status you know.
Until Next Week,
Nicole D.P. McLaughlin
- National HIV Testing Day: What You Need to Know (medicaldaily.com)
- Teaming Up for HIV Testing: Whitman-Walker, Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS partner to offer free screenings for National HIV Testing Day (metroweekly.com)
- If You Have These Symptoms, Do HIV Test (joshijoshiblog.com)