Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been held annually on December 1st to raise awareness on the deadly disease. According to the World Health Organization, 34 million people are living with HIV today. Although strides have been made to make it manageable (and someday, curable), being safe and in control is still necessary.
As a young 20-something living in NYC, I’ve found that what keeps people from getting tested is the actual process. Contrary to whatever you’ve been told, the process is quick, painless and most importantly: satisfying. In just five minutes, a doctor will prick your hand for a blood sample or swab your mouth–your choice. Most clinics, including Planned Parenthood, will have the confidential results to you in 20 minutes.
Trust me, that moment you know your status is one of the best feelings ever. Another obstacle Vixens face is convincing their partner to get tested. The number of excuses is endless, so read on for four ways to get him to your nearest testing center.–Nicole Brown
1. It’s Not All About Him: Make sure that he knows being healthy means being able to take care of you and his loved ones. Knowing your status means that you can be a source of inspiration for those who are still scared.
2. Wrap It Up: If you’re in a long term relationship, chances are you aren’t always using condoms. Besides pregnancy and curable STI’s, this is an express train to AIDS. If your man can’t get his act together, grab the latex or, better yet, abstain from sex until he gets a clue.
3. Simple As 1-2-3: Reassure him that the process is less complicated than he thinks. Most men hate doctors because they feel the experience is invasive and embarrassing. Use words like “we” instead of “I” and volunteer to get tested with him.
4. Say Goodbye: If your man is willing to put your safety at risk, he’s not worth your time. End the relationship and move on to something better.