National HIV Testing Day
Did you know that today is National HIV Testing Day? Oh really, you didn't? That's alright -- Simply enter your zip code here to find a testing center near you!
Don't think you need to get tested because you aren't gay/haven't had many sexual partners/feel invincible? Think again. Our generation has grown up with a lot of myths about HIV and AIDS and it's about time we correct them. Heather Corinna at Scarleteen's got my back here, debunking crazy claims like "HIV/AIDS isn't a real problem anymore now that we have better drugs to deal with it" and "HIV/AIDS is only a real problem in Africa" left and right. Go check out what she has to say on the matter. You might learn something that'll save your life.
For young people concerned about confidentiality (or perhaps concealing the need for an HIV test from one's parents...) Heather Corinna has the following advice:
You can get a test for HIV --an oral swab and/or a blood test -- at your regular, general doctor's office or general health clinic, at a hospital, via student health services or through your gynecologist, urologist or sexual health/family planning clinic. There are also clinics which specifically deal with HIV testing and treatment, too. But ALL of those places are legally obligated to protect your privacy.
If you're a minor, you can get HIV testing in most locations worldwide without parental permission or notification. If you choose to use a doctor where your family insurance will cover your visit, then your test may show up on the statement sent to your family, but with so many options for HIV testing in most places -- many of which are low-cost or even free -- there's no need to go through that channel unless you want to. Most HIV results are not sent in the mail, or given to someone else, but given to you, one-on-one, by the person who tested you.
Go ahead, plug in your zip code and find a testing center near you. You'll be glad you did.