All About HIV

HIV does not kill. Ignorance does.

Just having HIV won’t kill you. It’s having HIV and not knowing that robs you on the chance to take proper care of yourself and prolong your life. With HIV, what you don’t know can kill you. Get tested.

Equally bad is knowing that you have HIV, but not seeking the proper care and taking the proper steps to keep yourself healthy. To some extent, HIV is an attention whore. The less you pay attention to it, the wirse it can get. With the proper care, persons with HIV can still live full and productive lives.

Having a risky encounter doesn’t automatically mean you’re infected.

Worried that you don’t know your HIV status? Worried that you’re at high risk of contracting HIV? Worried that you may have had sex with someone with HIV? Get tested.

You may have taken all the risks in the HIV book, but that doesn’t mean you’re HIV-positive. And worrying won’t do anyone any good. It will only bring you undue stress… stress that might even kill you faster. Just suck it up and find out for sure so you can go on with life. Get tested.

You can’t count on symptoms to tell whether you have HIV or not.

Have you been under the weather and feeling the symptoms of HIV? Get tested. Have you been completely healthy and think there’s no way that you could have HIV? Get tested.

Flu, diarrhea, rash, swollen glands and others. The symptoms of HIV are very similar to those of other illnesses. And with at least 80% of Filipinos diagnosed with HIV being healthy and asymptomatic, what’s the only real way to know for sure whether a person is infected with HIV or not? Get tested.

Just because you get tested often, it doesn’t mean you can pass on protection.

First, there is that little complication of the window period, where within 3 to 6 months of a person’s exposure to the virus, the results of his or her HIV test can still be negative.

In addition, people often fall into a false sense of security by merit of testing negative for HIV. Getting tested only determines whether or not you carrying the virus. Getting tested does not protect against HIV. Yes, you may be safe to others. But you are not safe from others. Stay safe.

When it comes to HIV, high risk or low risk… a risk is a risk.

As far as sex goes, there is no act that is 100% safe. We only talk of safer sex. There are just some sex acts that are relatively safer than others. But low risk is far from no risk.

Choosing low risk acts does not guarantee that you’re safe from contracting HIV. High risk? Get tested. Low risk? Still get tested. When it comes to HIV risks, there is no high or low. Just yes or no. The only completely safe sex is not having sex.

Even if you’re faithful to your partner, it doesn’t mean you’re safe.

You’ve heard it before. Being faithful to your partner is said to be among the ways to avoid HIV. But really, being faithful is not enough.

First, make sure you are both HIV-negative to begin with. Done that? Now, what if indeed, you are faithful to your partner, but your partner gets the virus from someone else? Being faithful is not enough. Be mutually faithful. If there’s any doubt, use protection.

Having sex with a stranger? Use protection. Having sex with a non-stranger? Use protection.

People say that having unprotected casual sex with someone you don’t know is risky. True. Getting to know the person well before getting into bed? Still risky.

So maybe you know the person’s shoe size, birthmarks, job, religion and even his or her whole family tree. What good does that do? What you need to know is whether he or she is carrying the HIV virus. And that is something that he or she might not even know for him or herself. So just use protection.

Even HIV-positives benefit from using protection.

There’s the common thinking that people who already have HIV only need to use condoms to protect their partners. So untrue. Protection is for everyone.

So you think positives no longer have any risks to protect against? How about superinfection with other strains of HIV? How about the long list of other sexually-transmitted infections out there? So when you really think about it, regardless of HIV status, staying safe is for everyone.

Don’t just use condoms.

True, condoms are 90% effective in protecting against HIV and STIs. But the reality is that avoiding HIV is not as simple as just using condoms.

Use condoms correctly. Properly store them, use them, lubricate, and dispose of them. And use condoms consistently. Remember, it takes only one slip to put you at risk. So don’t just use condoms. Use condoms correctly and consistently.

Using protection is everyone’s responsibility.

When it comes to sex and HIV, it always takes two to tango. Don’t get caught blaming your partner for not using protection and infecting you with HIV.

Maybe your partner didn’t tell you that he or she was HIV-positive. But maybe your partner didn’t even know that he or she was. Why run that risk? Use protection. It is primarily and most importantly every individual’s right and responsibility to protect him or herself at all times.

Do you have more concerns?
Need to consult with experts?
Or thinking about getting tested?
Check out our list of DOH’s official HIV Hubs here,
or contact one of the HIV NGOs or support groups here.

2 Responses

  1. This site is indeed full of information that is benificial to all. Not only to the member of the third sex but to everybody who are not praticing safe sex. The best way to get away of HIV is a strong faith to God and doing what God only wants for us. But everybody fall short and sometimes commits mistakes. So in that time where we are vulnerable lets practice SAFE SEX! or else suffer the consequences of our sins…

  2. May i ask how much will it cost me to be tested for hiv? tnx a lot.

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