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Importance of HIV testing

HIV Testing

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.