Dr. Demetre: I personally don’t sleep around. So how often do I need to get tested?
Dr. David: I’m a doctor.
Dr. Demetre: I’m Dr. Demetre.
Dr. David: And I’m Dr. David.
Dr. Demetre: We’re HIV doctors.
Dr. David: And we’re here to answer your questions on HIV and sexual health.
Dr. Demetre: The reality of being a gay man in the United States is that your chances of being exposed to someone with HIV or an STD are higher than if you were, say, a straight man. You have to get tested at least two times a year. I advise some of my guys to get tested every three months. It really depends on the story. There’s no reason to be scared of an HIV test. The only HIV test that you should be scared of is the one that you’ve never had. You shouldn’t wait for symptoms. You should just make it a routine part of your care, like getting your cholesterol checked, getting your blood pressure. In fact, it is just a routine part of your care. And if you’re a man who has sex with men, or a gay men, bottom line it’s a part of your care that you have to visit a couple times a year.
Wondering how often to get tested? Dr. Demetre goes over the recommendations for HIV testing.
How often you should get tested for HIV is something you should discuss with your healthcare provider. They can also advise you about other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) you may want to be tested for.
Given the heightened risk of exposure, many health departments recommend gay and bisexual men and transgender women get tested every 3 to 6 months. More frequent testing may also be recommended for other at-risk groups.
#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
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