Gay men have a high risk profile of contracting HIV due to sexual behavior involved. All people, not only gay men, should go for an HIV test at least every 6 months. If you were exposed to risky behavior e.g. engaged in unprotected anal sex or the condom broke, then you should immediately consult your doctor. Usually a rapid test is used as screening method. The rapid test is used to screen for antibodies of the HI Virus. The following can be expected during an HIV test:
- Pre-test counselling:
- Personal questions may be asked, but this is only to help prepare you adequately and effectively.
- You will be asked questions about HIV to test your knowledge on the subject.
- Your current risk profile will be developed e.g. use of condoms, partners turn-over.
- Health education will be provided on how to reduce your risks.
- The HIV test will be explained to you.
- Your available support system and general stress management will be assessed.
- You will then be requested to sign a consent form in order to carry out the test.
- Performing of HIV test:
- Pricking of finger for a rapid test and/or;
- Drawing of a blood sample to be sent to a laboratory.
- Post-test counselling
- If you test positive, a confirmation blood sample will be drawn.
- If you test positive, ongoing support will be made available.
- If you test negative, a follow up test is arranged and you are encouraged to follow safer sex precautions.