YOU CAN SHOW A PERSON HOW TO SOLVE A PROBLEM BUT, YOU CAN NOT MAKE THE PERSON UNDERSTAND HOW THE PROBLEM WAS SOLVED (Robert Brandon Sandor, 2020)
This innovative website is focused on Americas HIV-negative gay and bi-sexual young adults (MSM) and empowers them to CONTINUE to remain HIV-negative by choice. As a result, this community driven international HIV Prevention effort will be the vital springboard for future HIV prevention messages, strategies, discussions, research and theories for decades to come.
Why get tested for HIV? What's the point?
One of the reasons why you might have put off getting tested for HIV on a regular basis was because you felt alone or afraid. THAT ENDED RIGHT NOW. As of this very moment and as you are reading this, so are others. Therefore, YOU ARE NOT alone, you are with others and together you can get tested.
WHY is it important to get tested for HIV?
Your desire and motivation to remain HIV-negative is the glue that holds all other HIV "prevention" messages together, the key force that drives local and global cultures to continue to support HIV Prevention. Please take a moment and think about how this information relates to you personally. Consider how this affects your choices to remain HIV-negative, the people you form relationships with (sexually and socially) and understand the important role you play in keeping the promise of HIV Prevention.
Getting infected with HIV is NOT a "rite of passage" to adulthood. If you do not take your role in HIV Prevention SERIOUSLY, then all the HIV funding and political support to stop HIV are worthless. That's why getting tested for HIV is so important.
Consider this: To get what you want in your life and to reach your goals, you need to understand what is stopping you. Regular testing for HIV to remain HIV-negative is NO exception. Whenever you procrastinate, it's because you think that doing the task / action would be worse than not doing the task or taking action. Sometimes, if you procrastinate for too long, it turns against you, and you are in a WORSE situation.
For example, if you continue to put off doing a term paper, your taxes, finishing a project at work or cutting the lawn, you will get to a point where you are REQUIRED to do it even if it is the night before it's due! Talk about a major stress kick to the head. Please take a moment today and CONSIDER YOUR FUTURE. It's YOUR FUTURE at stake not mine, I'm already HIV+ (First Generation, August 1983) and a Cancer Survivor but you're NOT. So, take some time today and think about your HIV-negative status and how your life would change IF you became HIV+.
* Who would you disclose your status to and how would they react?
* What extra medical expenses would you have and could you afford them?
* Does your Health Insurance cover ALL HIV related medical issues? Your employers Health Plan?
* What would your daily routine be like if you became HIV+ and how would this change what you are doing now?
ALL OF THIS CHANGES by one simple task - getting an HIV test.
You must learn to realize the difference YOUR LIFE will be affected just by an HIV test and understand how much you will benefit as a result of staying HIV-negative. Should society stop HIV or stop funding HIV Prevention Programs? But if society says we must stop HIV and society does not stay HIV-negative, then what's the point of funding HIV Prevention Programs?
My point is this: This is the time when enough is enough, the excuses stop, and we move forward by understanding how to stop HIV dead in its tracks. Therefore, by getting tested for HIV on a regular basis you help all of us to stop HIV - period. But how can you take this step forward and what resources are available to you NOW?
THREE EASY STEPS to remain HIV-negative:
STEP ONE: Deciding to remain HIV-negative. This step you ALREADY achieved, otherwise you would not be reading this!
STEP TWO: Knowing where to get tested for HIV. There are countless resources available to you NOW to get tested for HIV today and many offer FREE HIV testing, just locate the one closest to you. The information for testing locations is found in your local hospital, clinic, university, high school, local health department and ONLINE. It only takes a minute and the benefit of finding one will last a lifetime.
STEP THREE: Choosing a good time to get tested. How about NOW? However, "now" might not be the best time, so how about the FIRST of the month? I offer this suggestion to you and the entire HIV-negative population - Get tested on the first of the month. Why the first of the month? Simple, because you are #1 and you are the future of HIV prevention. Also, by getting your HIV test on the first of the month, you achieve a great goal: Knowing. And by knowing your HIV- negative status early you can better plan the month ahead.
If you are in high school or college, get tested with your friends, and together you would be creating the foundation of an HIV-negative support network!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER TOGETHER OR WITH FRIENDS:
1) WHEN is a good time for you to get tested? If you are in high school or college, can you get tested before your next class or just after school? Is there a place on campus or nearby? If you work, can you get tested before going to work or after? Can you get tested on your lunch break? If you are getting tested alone, does it help knowing that others on this website are getting tested on the first of the month as well?
2) PLANNING IN ADVANCE to get tested. Just like planning in advance to go to the doctor's office, the movies, the kid's soccer game or going to the beach; planning in advance to get an HIV test is just as easy. What are the four benefits to you by planning in advance (a good example is my 1st of the month suggestion) your HIV testing?