SAT, DAT, GRE, MCAT, PCAT, LSAT: All tests that none of us want to take but kinda have to. They are painfully long exams that usually require hours and hours of studying. Despite the endless chemical reactions, complex math equations, and critical reading passages, these tests are worth the blood, sweat, and tears. College, dental school, grad school, med school, pharm school, law school: All are stepping stones to a better and brighter future.
Unlike the MCAT and LSAT, the HIV test doesn’t require any studying. You just need to show up. Like the MCAT and LSAT, the HIV test is so worth it. It wouldn’t just be a stepping stone. It would be a stepping boulder to a better and brighter future. A lot of us are willing to sacrifice an entire summer studying for a standardized test, so why not sacrifice 20 minutes to get tested for HIV?
In honor of National HIV Testing Day, here are 5 reasons why you should get tested for HIV:
1. Knowing your status is empowering. If you test positive, you can seek medical treatment that will help you live a longer and healthier life. If you test negative, then you can take steps to stay negative, such as using condoms correctly every time you have sex. Take the test and take control of your life.
2. HIV has no boundaries. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, home address, job, etc., HIV doesn’t care. HIV is primarily transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, which includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It could have just been that “not so smart decision” you made that “one time.” Just get tested.
3. There is no vaccine or cure for HIV yet. Medication, however, is available. The only way you will know that you need medical treatment is if you get tested.
4. It takes 20 minutes. You can watch an entire episode of Modern Family commercial free and still have 1 minute and 34 seconds to spare. The rapid test, which is an HIV screening test, usually uses oral fluid to detect HIV antibodies. It’s absolutely painless.
5. It can save your life.
For more information on HIV, check out MTV It’s Your (Sex) Life – HIV/AIDS 101.
Click here to find a testing site near you.
By ALYSSA LLAMAS