Importance of HIV Testing

Importance of HIV Testing

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body’s natural defense against disease. If left untreated, HIV can weaken the immune system so much that it can no longer fight infection. This late stage of the virus, known as AIDS, can be deadly.

HIV is a serious condition that can affect people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. Though around 40,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the United States every year, as many as one in four people living with HIV don’t know they have it.

Here’s the good news: detecting HIV and getting treatment is easier today than ever before. People living with the virus can have long, healthy and happy lives. Let’s take a look at the importance of HIV testing and what benefits it can provide.

Why Is Getting Tested for HIV Important?

Taking an HIV test is the only way to know if you have the virus. Because symptoms of AIDS can take years to develop, it’s essential to get tested even if you feel fine. Knowing your HIV status — whether you test positive or negative for the disease — is a vital step in getting treatment and preventing the disease from spreading.

HIV spreads from person to person through bodily fluids like blood and semen. This means that some of the most common ways people contract HIV are through unprotected sex and sharing needles during drug use. If you’ve engaged in these behaviors with someone whose HIV status is unknown, it’s important to get tested. Once you know your status, you can get treatment and take steps to avoid spreading HIV to others.

What Are the Benefits of HIV Testing?

Knowing your HIV status is a great way to protect your health and the health of the people you care about. There are many benefits of getting tested for HIV, whether your results are negative or positive:

Ready to Get Tested for HIV?

There are many advantages of HIV testing for those at risk. If you’re ready to know your HIV status, call or contact Hamilton Health Center to make an appointment. We offer free, confidential HIV testing Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We’re proud to offer HIV testing and support to all Central Pennsylvania residents, regardless of age, income and insurance status.