Monthly Archives: June 2012

Today is National HIV Testing Day

By Courtney Griffin, Guest Blogger

We’ve all heard the importance of being tested for HIV every so often.  Depending on your individual risk factors it is ideal to be tested for HIV as frequently as every 3 to 6 months to as infrequently as once a year.

This is the time of year where being tested is heavily promoted and equally as convenient. Many facilities across the country are dedicating a day (June 27th) to making sure people are aware of the importance of being tested and actually do it.

I know you all may have heard this a million times in high school but I feel the need to tell you again. Below are the risk factors of contracting HIV

  • sharing needles/syringes or other equipment  for injecting drugs,
  • having a history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),
  • having unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with multiple or anonymous partners or,
  • having unprotected sex with a partner who did not know their own HIV status.

 

HIV can hide for long periods of time in the cells of your body and attack key parts of your immune system including your T-cells or CD4 cells and as a result may not be found at an initial test. This is why it is important to be tested often or a few weeks after every new partner.  Over time, HIV can destroy your CD4 cells and your body won’t be able to fight infections and diseases anymore. When that happens, HIV infection can lead to AIDS. I want you to know your status before this happens!

Getting tested is easy and painless and usually FREE. Most testing centers just need a swab of saliva from your mouth or urine to test.

It is so easy to say HIV will never happen to me, that doesn’t concern me. AIDS.gov has made it even easier to be tested, find a testing center and go on  June 27th to make sure!

For more information visit: http://www.aids.gov/awarenessdays/nationalhivtestingday/

 

Courtney Griffin is a Michigan State University Alumna with a Bachelor or Arts in Professional Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Arts and Technology. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse from DePaul University with hopes to continue on to a Technical Writing Doctoral Program by 2014. Outside of writing and social media, Courtney enjoys shopping (thrifting included), reading and gatherings with family and friends.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized