HIV + STI Testing
Knowing your HIV status is an important part of a healthy sex life. Testing is the only way to know your status for sure. Whatever the reason for testing – for most guys, it’s better to know their status. In Vancouver, 1 in 5 gay men have HIV. Of those guys with HIV, about 14% are unaware of their positive status.
How Often Should I Test?
When it comes to HIV testing, everyone has a number. Some guys should test for HIV more often, depending on the type of sex they’re having. Guys who are more at risk should test every 3 months. Guys who are less at risk should test every 12 months. You can find your number, and sign up for testing reminders sent to your phone or email at:
Test once a year.
Low risk behaviour includes oral sex, anal sex where condoms are used, and sex with a regular partner whose status you know (like a boyfriend). Low-risk doesn’t necessarily mean no-risk. Even guys who may consider themselves no-risk should test for HIV every 12 months. Sometimes, a risk event may happen (by accident, mistake, or even planned). If so, you may want to change your testing pattern to every 3 months, or follow the ‘Test After a High Risk Event’ guidelines. (below).
If you and your partner (boyfriend, friend with benefits, whomever) want to give up condoms, you should both get tested, but only after 3 months of using condoms consistently. Assuming you are not exposed to HIV outside your relationship, you can both feel certain of your results after 3 months.