Play Safe. Stay Safe. Get Tested. Be Protected.
Today is the 27th of June. What, might you ask, is so special about the 27th of June? Well, in the USA, June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. That’s right, lovelies. I’m going to say it again: It’s NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY (NHTD).
Today is day for you to go with your friends and your lover(s) and/or your play partner(s) and GO GET TESTED! It’s the day for you to call up your children that are sexually-active and live away from home, or your friends that you love dearly but haven’t talked to in too long, and remind them that today is National HIV Testing Day, and they, too, should go get tested. Find a National HIV Testing Day event near you.
The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) started National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) in 1995. Every year, on June 27th, local organizations across the nation engage with communities to promote early diagnosis and HIV-testing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 250,000 of the one million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States are unaware of their status. NAPWA realizes that lack of access to treatment and care along with social stigma can make living with HIV difficult. With early diagnosis, uncertain individuals will know their HIV-status and should be placed in appropriate treatment and care. During NHTD, we work with our partners, which include thousands of community-based organizations, businesses, health departments, elected officials, media, and individuals to encourage routine HIV-testing and to promote culturally-apt messages for those affected by and living with HIV/AIDS. –from NAPWA’s web site
Just like NAPWA acknowledges in the above statement, social stigma can and does influence all of us, whether we know it or not. Some of us get tested religiously because that’s how we were raised or that’s what we do, but we never get tested for HIV. Others of us avoid all STI testing because we’re scared of the big WHAT-IF. I’m here to tell you a secret, lovelies: It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, or what you haven’t done. The time is now to take action. Yes, getting tested can be scary because we have to deal with the what-if, and for men, it can be unpleasant, too. But the unpleasantness and the worry of getting tested can save your life or a friend’s or a partner’s or a lover’s or your future child’s. When we’re aware of our status, we are much, much better prepared to deal with it, as necessary, and take the appropriate action-steps toward continued good health. Hiding under a rock from STI testing does not make HIV leave us alone. It does not prevent us from getting sick or passing on the virus if we are carrying it. For most sexually-active individuals, it is recommended that we each get tested for HIV at least once per year.
The most powerful tool in your arsenal is awareness, baby. Don’t ever forget that. Play Safe. Stay Safe. Get Tested. Be Protected. Know Your Status. It Saves Lives. Yours Included. As NAWPA says, “Take the Test, Take Control.” Find a National HIV Testing Day event near you. Don’t wait another 10 minutes. Get the facts. Right here. Right Now. And don’t forget to Locate a Testing Site Near You. It just takes a second, & then you’ll have everything you need to go arm yourself with the power of awareness.
Pansexual sensate aesthete. Proponent of resources and eduction to help us each live our best lives. Kinky, quirky, sex-obsessed, sex toy-obsessed, sexpos critical theory slut with a passion for writing & def an acquired taste. Interests: The loveliness of everything being lovely. Wearing stars in the night sky. Buddhism. Critical Theory. Embodiment. Authentic Connection. Preparing happy, humming food. Baking bread from scratch. Thunderstorms. Storytelling. Sharing. Old typewriters. Dangly earrings.
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