The more sexual partners you have the higher your frequency of testing should be. Test for HIV and other STIs at the same time.
Gono, Syphilis, Chlamydia – most of the STI’s that you can catch are also pretty easy to test for and treat. But an STI left alone for too long may cause damage to the body. So regular testing is important. Remember that all STI’s can occur without symptoms. You may have one and not even know it!
If you or your partner have other lovers and you’re all fucking each other in whatever configuration you’ve determined, then you should be testing regularly for HIV and STI’s, roughly 4 times a year. The more sexual partners you have the higher your frequency of testing should be. Test for HIV and other STIs at the same time.
Different populations (that’s health sector speak for a group of people) have different levels of risk associated with STI transmission. For example, young people aged 15-24 are extremely vulnerable to chlamydia and gonorrhoea with some of the highest recorded rates found amongst Australian youth. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, MSM (Men Who Have Sex With Men), Transgender folk, Sex Workers - all of these groups have different recommendations in terms of what a person should be testing for as well as the frequency in which they should be tested.
If you want to know a bit more regarding how often you should test? Then check out the Australian STI Guidelines here.
If you’re not testing on a regular basis or you don’t know your status, you’re putting your health at risk as well as the health of those people you happen to be fucking.
Thinking that your HIV negative isn’t a good strategy for staying HIV negative. If you’re not testing on a regular basis or you don’t know your status, you’re putting your health at risk as well as the health of those people you happen to be fucking.
If you can do one thing towards becoming Best-Practice in Sexual Health you can do this - test regularly. It’s that simple. Lucky for you there are countless options available these days in terms of HIV testing.
If you’ve acquired HIV then your immune system will start producing antibodies as a reaction to the virus around 2 to 8 weeks after exposure. These antibodies are detected by a HIV test.
It takes time for HIV to be detected in the body.
If you’ve contracted HIV it’s more than likely that you’ll test HIV positive within six to eight weeks after exposure. A small percentage of people may take up to three months to seroconvert (which means becoming HIV positive) so it’s important to understand what your HIV test result means based on whether you have had any recent potential exposures.
You’re the most infectious during the window period.
That window period is the time between the transmission of HIV infection to the point at which the body starts producing antibodies. HIV transmission occurs often when a person is unaware of their HIV status and is within the window period.
Your HIV test results are confidential.
If you’re worried about the confidentiality of your results you should know that all HIV testing is governed by privacy law. Talk with your GP or sexual health clinic about any privacy concerns when testing. At some clinics you don’t need a Medicare Card and in some cases you don’t even have to give your real name if you don’t want to.
How often do I test?
Fucking is a pretty simple act. You’re in complete control of the choices you make that help to protect yourself and your lovers from the risk of HIV transmission. If these choices involve not using a condom or not using PrEP then the level of risk begins to change with each and every situation.
If you are a guy who fucks other guys then get tested roughly 4 times a year - it's best practice
Have you heard about rapid HIV testing? It’s a marvel of modern medicine, that’s for sure. Rapid tests are often conducted at the point of care (in a clinic) and generally return a result somewhere between 10-20 minutes depending on the test kit being used. A ‘reactive’ (or preliminary positive) result on a rapid HIV test is not a diagnosis of HIV infection. Rapid HIV tests produce a small number of false positive results. For this reason, a reactive rapid HIV test result always needs to be confirmed by laboratory tests.
You can also get home testing kits, which means that you can test for HIV in the comfortability of your own home. The test available adn approved for use in Australia is called the Atomo HIV Self Test. You can order these online, or get them from your local HIV/AIDS organisations.