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Do I Need to be Tested for HIV?

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Chances are the answer is yes!

If you are sexually active, you run the risk of becoming infected with many sexually transmitted infections and diseases, including HIV. Getting tested not only protects your health, but you partner’s sexual health as well. It’s suggested that you should get tested if you have multiple or even one new partner, engage in high risk or unprotected sexual activity or before you enter into a monogamous relationship.

If you are unsure of your HIV status and have a history of being sexually active, getting tested is the responsible thing to do, especially if you have partaken in any of the following high-risk behaviors.

Have had unprotected sex
Having unprotected sex, meaning sexual intercourse without using a latex condom, is one of the easiest ways to spread and become infected with HIV. The virus is highly infectious and is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids. This can happen during oral, anal or vaginal intercourse. If you have had sex without a condom, even just once, with someone who you are not sure of their STD status, you should be tested before engaging in a sexual relationship with anyone else.

Have ever injected drugs or shared needles with others
Needles and unsterilized equipment allow for the blood of an infected person to have a clear path for infecting the blood of another.

Have ever been diagnosed with hepatitis, tuberculosis or syphilis
There are many other STDs which result in open sores which makes contracting the virus much easier. If you have been diagnosed at any point with these types, or any other STD, it is important to be tested since sexual activity, especially while infected, may increase your likelihood of getting HIV.

Have had sex with anyone who may have done any of the above behaviors
Even if you feel that you have never taken part in any of these high-risk behaviors it may be possible to become infected and unknowingly spread the infection to others if you have had a sexual partner who does, or may have, acted in any of these high risk ways.