June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. The federal government urges everyone age 13 to 64 to get tested at least once. Over-the-counter HIV tests aren't far off, but in the meantime...
1. If you're in a longtime, committed relationship, and you think you don't need to be tested, you're may be right. If you have any doubts at all (past or present), testing is free, fast and pain-free.
2. If you truly believe you don't need to be tested, talk to a girlfriend who does and accompany her to the test site. To find a testing site near you, type your zip code into this locator, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO or text your zip to KNOW IT (566948).
*If you're really feeling bold, talk to your Momfriends about tests for their sexually active teens.
3. Planning to tweet about your adventure in responsible adulthood? Use hashtag #NHTD.
4. HIV is spread when infected bodily fluids are transferred from one person's body to another's: Blood, breast milk, semen AND any fluid that appears pre-ejaculation. Use a condom every time with an appropriate lubricant.
5. Wondering if you're at risk? In some ways, we all are.
More than 200,000 Americans DON'T KNOW that they have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. That works out to about 1 of every 5. Yep. If you think "1 of every 5" is an impressive number of NotMoms, it's a scary number of clueless, infected men and women. You probably can't tell by looking at their faces, their bodies, or even their private parts.
From middle schools to assisted living, HIV is out there. Doubt it if you dare. Get tested. Depending on your lifestyle, make testing as routine as an annual Pap smear.