One of them is finding out your own HIV status. Are you infected with the HIV virus or not?
There is only one way to know – get the test done. Which test? The HIV-antibody test where a small amount of blood is taken and checked to see whether it contains HIV-antibodies.
If the test is ‘reactive’ to HIV-antibodies, it means that the body has recognised HIV in its blood. If the blood sample came from me – it would mean that I am HIV positive.
Why should I know about my status?
Here are three key reasons:
1. For my body’s sake.
If I am HIV positive – then the sooner I know about it – the sooner I can take the appropriate treatment. Quick detection and prompt treatment means a far longer life. Avoiding treatment doesn’t help – infact it harms. The later I start treatment – the more damage the virus has done to me. Remember that we must never give up hope!
Getting the right treatment for HIV makes all the difference. A study in the US says that the average life expectancy – after finding out about HIV – is now 24 years! And who knows how much longer I can live if new sets of medicines come on the scene in the coming years! But all of this is useless unless I find out whether I have HIV or not – and then go to trusted people for treatment.
Do you need to know where to get treatment? We can help you at Jeevan Sahara Kendra. If you are living in Thane we can directly provide treatment for you. If you live outside – we will be able to guide you to a local provider who can help you move forward! Come and visit us with all your medical papers!
2. To protect others.
If I am HIV positive – then I want to protect those I love. I will want to make sure that anyone I have had sexual contact with will be tested for the disease too. I will also want to make sure that I do not infect anyone else. Its bad enought that I have it – why should I spread it further.
If I am negative – wow! what a relief! But it does mean that I will have to be very careful now to make sure that I do not get exposed to HIV again. Best bet by far – being sexually faithful to my mutually faithful spouse! Anything before marriage and any sex outside marriage is just too risky! A negative report is a real gift – I won’t want to waste it!
There is a small chance that if I am negative now but have had a sexual exposure to a person who has HIV in the last 3 months before the test – that I may actually have the disease. The chances of this are very small – but to make sure I really do not have it – I will need to have another HIV antibody test in 3 months to make sure. Some people call this the ‘window’ period. If I have not had any risk exposure in the 3 months prior to the test then I know for sure that I am ‘HIV negative’.
3. For peace of mind
Getting an HIV test can be very scary. So scary that most of us will never want to really do it.
But if I do not get tested – and I know I have had some kind of exposure – or I am worried that my sexual partner has had some exposure – then that worry will continue to gnaw at me.
Its always better to know the truth!
If I am HIV negative – then I can move on with my life and make sure I do not expose myself again.
If I am HIV positive – then I can also move on in life – I can find out how much the virus has affected my immunity already – and can move forward to get better!
Jesus said at one point: “you will know the truth – and the truth will set you free.” Knowing about my HIV status gives me the tools to live positively – knowing just what is going on – instead of carrying a huge burden of fear around with me wherever I go.
So what are you waiting for? If you believe you have had any kind of exposure that could have been dangerous for HIV – then come and get tested for HIV.
We are happy to help you get tested as Jeevan Sahara Kendra is a govt. recognised Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre. We provide counselling and HIV testing from 10 am to 5.30 PM from Monday to Friday.
If you are coming from outside Thane or would like a Saturday appointment – please call us at 25899248 during office hours!
Look foward to serving you!