If you think you are perfectly healthy and need not go for HIV-testing, let me tell you that you are wrong. Did you know that over 950,000 individuals in the USA alone are currently living with the 'Human Immunodeficiency Virus' (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, the most dreaded immunodeficiency syndrome? But, the most unfortunate thing is that 1 / 4th of these carrier individuals are unaware that they have the virus in them! And, trust me; you sure can be one of them.
The Importance of Testing
The virus may have entered your body while having unprotected sex with a partner, who is also unaware of his / her HIV-status, or while donating blood in a camp where proper precautions were not taken, or even while sharing injection needles. To put it in simple words, this deadly virus can be present in anyone's body, regardless of age, sex, race, income or sexual orientation.
The presence of this deadly virus in a person's body does not necessarily implicate that he / she will contract AIDS and start to show the symptoms of the syndrome immediately. Many times, the virus remains dormant in the body for several years, owing to which the carrier feels he is healthy and unknowingly puts others, especially his / her sexual partner, at risk. Thus, it is not possible to prevent the viral transmission until and unless you know your HIV-status, and an AIDS test is the only way to find this out. Once you get to know whether you are HIV-negative or HIV-positive, you can act accordingly to prevent transmission.
The Importance of Counseling
Mere testing is not enough. If your test gives positive results, indicating that you are a carrier of the AIDS virus, you would need expert counseling. Certified counselors will help you in following ways:
1) Help you to get into the needed care as soon as possible.
2) Provide you all the required information relating to transmission risk reduction and safer sex.
3) Assist you in those first hours or days after learning the bitter fact of your life.
You should go to a counselor even if you are HIV-negative. This is because they can help you understand your test results and provide you with necessary information about the AIDS-related resources available in your locality.
No Need to be Ashamed
Many people avoid going for HIV / AIDS testing and counseling because of their fear of being snubbed from social communities, family or religious groups. But, there is nothing to be accused of or scared of. If you really wish to lead a healthy life and protect others, especially your sexual partner, you should not ignore the importance of HIV testing and counseling. At-risk individuals as well as the people with no-risk behaviors should definitely go for it.
Where to Get HIV Testing / Counseling Done?
HIV testing and counseling centers are located in almost all the localities in the country. You can avail this facility in specialized centers in large cities, in rural hospitals, as well as in local clinics. Do Not Wait Anymore; Get your test done as soon as possible and Save Your Life and Lives of Others .