The truth of the matter with HIV/AIDS is that whether you are infected or not, it affects us all. Another truth is that the only help you can get is if you have taken the step to test. How else would you know your status if not a test? Then you should seriously consider getting tested for HIV if you have engaged in behaviour that puts you at risk for contracting the virus; the unprotected sex sessions, blades and drugs or not. Here is why;
Knowing your HIV status will help you to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. In fact, knowing about our status allows one to adopt a lifestyle that refrains from activities that will expose you or your partner to contracting the disease.
While some people prefer not to know about their statuses, probably because they are afraid of the unknown, knowing your HIV status can lighten the stress and anxiety of thinking that you may be infected but not knowing your actual HIV status. It’s free and accessible at any time so why not kill the stress already!
If you test negative for HIV, you can make decisions and take steps that will help you remain HIV negative. And if you test positive, you still have the chance to keep your health at a hundred; in Botswana every citizen is entitled to free antiretroviral medications and other treatments as a way of supporting those infected by it,one less thing to worry about!!
Get the best off the doctor’s visits
If you test positive for HIV, you can seek medical treatment earlier. Early medical treatment can slow the progress of HIV and delay the onset of AIDS. Your doctor can monitor your immune system and help you avoid opportunistic diseases, or manage these when they occur.
You can help educate others about HIV/Aids, and improve their attitudes and behaviour related to the disease, by talking about your HIV status and your decision to get tested. You will also learn about how to follow a lifestyle with good nutrition and suitable exercise, and avoiding damaging substances such as cigarettes and alcohol.
Future well planned
Finding out your HIV status as early as possible, gives you time, if you are infected, to make plans for yourself and your dependents to be looked after when you do get sick. Pregnant women for example who test positive for HIV can take action to prevent their baby from becoming infected with HIV, through the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT)