Health Benefits of Performing HIV Testing (Why you should test it)

There are various health benefits of doing a regular health check-up. Not only do they help you know how your body is doing, but they also allow you to know more about your health and take preventive measures if there’s something unwell. HIV testing is no different!

Almost 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV, and many are unaware of their conditions yet. The study also states that around 40% of HIV transmission occurs because the infected person is unaware of their HIV status. 

Every now and then, the government promotes safe sex and has made HIV testing important. However, there are many benefits aligned with HIV testing. 

In this article, we will learn what HIV is when you should get HIV testing, and the benefits of doing so. 

What is HIV? 

Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that tackles the human body and attacks the immune system incapable of fighting against any disease on their own. 

A person contaminated with the virus doesn’t have the immune system that can fight against any virus that attacks the body. The end stage of HIV is AIDS, which usually results in death. 

HIV is transmitted through sexual intercourse mostly. In the case you’re having unprotected sex, there’s a high probability that you might contaminate the virus. Therefore, it’s always suggested to practice safe sex. 

However, HIV can also be transmitted through other methods like using a syringe or drugs through a needle. 

HIV is the initial stage, but when it develops to AIDS, your body cannot have the capability to fight even the simplest of diseases which ultimately results in death. 

The virus could be found in people of all ages and genders. Statistics show that around 40,000 people are diagnosed with this virus in the USA annually. And around one in seven people are still aware of their condition. That being the reason, it’s important that you get HIV tested. 

After all, you’ll be able to take important actions only when you’re aware of your status. 

When Should You Test for HIV? 

Everyone must be aware of their HIV status. 

There are various instances when taking an HIV test becomes a must. The situation could be –

Routine Testing:

If you’re a sexually active individual, testing for HIV should be a daily part of your regular health care. 

After unprotected sexual intercourse:

If you’ve been involved in unprotected sexual intercourse or with a partner whose HIV status is unknown, taking a test is suggested.

After using shared needles or equipment:

If you have a shared hand or drug equipment with other individuals and inject drugs, you must test for HIV.

Occupational exposure:

If you’re an individual working in a health care center who has been exposed to HIV-contaminated blood, and body fluids, an HIV test becomes a must.

During pregnancy:

HIV testing for pregnant individuals is necessary for parental care. It is because the early declaration of HIV status in pregnancy helps to reduce the risk of transmission to the baby.

Starting a new sexual relationship:

If you’re starting a sexual relationship with your partner, you must do an HIV test to be aware of the status. 

The process is also quite simple, with a small finger prick to ensure where you stand. Results for HIV are usually available in 15 minutes. 

The reason why we think it’s a must to know about your HIV status is because you can take control of your health. If you’ve tested negative, you might consider attending a test annually or when you’ve had unprotected sex. Further, if you’re positive, you can keep yourself healthy and ensure that it doesn’t get transmitted to other individuals. 

Importance of Testing for HIV 

Testing for HIV is a priority if you want to prevent AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). 

AIDS is the most advanced stage of the disease HIV. When a body has AIDS, even with conditions like tuberculosis infections, you get severely sick, resulting in death. It is because your body can’t fight against the disease alone. 

To prevent your HIV from reaching AIDS, it’s a must to get HIV tested. 

Further importance of testing for HIV is –

Early Detection and Treatment

If you’re aware of your HIV status at the beginning, getting the treatment when your immune system is strong is elementary. 

Often, there are cases when people discover their HIV in the last stage and have to deal with a weak body. 

One significant benefit of HIV testing is early detection. The early diagnosis helps you start your treatment right away. The therapy enables you to improve your immune system and help manage the virus and expect an increased life expectancy. 

We suggest doing an HIV test right after various instances, as we mentioned above, to get aware of your status. 

Also read: How PrEP Is Shaping the Future of HIV Prevention Strategies?

Improved Health Outcomes

With early detection of HIV, you can protect yourself from AIDs-related diseases, leading a healthy and happy life. 

AIDs is deadly; the earlier the prevention, the less the chance of getting AIDS-related illness. 

Further, the test can help you take precautions and measures from the beginning, which would strengthen your immune system. You would be aware of the activities to perform, exercise, and things to avoid and be more careful. 

Prevention of Transmission

As mentioned earlier, nearly 40% of HIV transmission occurs because the person is unaware of the virus. 

If you’re aware of your HIV status, you can prevent transmission to another person. Further, effective HIV treatments can help you reduce the amount of virus in your body and the virus load, decreasing the possibility of transmitting HIV to your sexual partner. 

When you’re aware of your HIV status, you can take steps to perform safe sex and restrict the other person from contaminating the virus. 

Access to Support and Services

HIV cannot be cured; it’s something you’ve to live with for life. While technology has advanced and made it possible that you can still lead a happy and healthy life, it still takes over your mental health affecting your day-to-day life. 

Once you’re aware of your HIV status, you can connect yourself to essential support services for you to take mental care, counseling, and treatment. 

These available resources can help you lead a life with good health and a sound mind. 

Preventive Measures

It’s not in every case that the HIV test comes positive. If you test negative for HIV, you can still learn more about it and take preventive measures to protect yourself from getting it. 

The healthcare system provides guidelines to an individual on reducing the risk of exposure to this virus through various preventive measures. You can also learn more about safe sex and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a preventative measure to help prevent HIV transmission

Peace of Mind

Upon having unprotected sex or doing activities that increase the probability of transmitting HIV, you cannot be at peace. 

HIV testing provides instant results to help you perform activities further. This keeps you in peace. 

Protecting your Loved Ones

HIV can hugely affect you and your loved ones. By taking the test, you can not only protect your sexual partners but also your loved ones. 

Upon getting infected with the virus, people surrounding the person also need guidance on what to do and what not to do to prevent themselves from transmitting the disease. 

Once you know about your HIV status, you can inform your loved ones, ask them to take preventive measures, and communicate openly about your health. 

Summary

There are many advantages to performing HIV testing for those at risk. You must know your HIV status to keep yourself healthy and take the necessary preventive measures before it’s too late. 

Even if you get tested positive, early detection can help you get treatment when your immune system is still strong. By doing so, you can lead a happy and healthy life. 

If you’re ready to know about your HIV status, you might want to consider calling health care and making a quick appointment. 

Many health organizations like ours offer HIV testing and support to everyone, regardless of age, income, or insurance status. Further, you can also contact us to learn more about preventive measures and other information. 

We hope this article serves the purpose of educating you about the importance of HIV testing.