Sunday, November 18, 2018

Prescription of Hot Doctors of Pinas: A Primer on Your HIV Testing

By Mark Angello C. Ganon

Celebrating self-care has never been this sizzling! On November 24, 2018, no apple can keep the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas away as we celebrate the country’s second community-based, multi-site national HIV testing day. Catch them in 15 locations nationwide by signing up here.

Is it your first time to get tested? Don’t worry, the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas have got you covered. They know it can be downright daunting to try something for the first time, may it be your first vaccine shot, your first visit to the dentist, or your first date.

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Getting yourself tested for HIV for the first time is no exemption to the jitters. Fear of needles and fear of the unknown are the main culprits that give us the cold feet when it comes to getting screened for HIV for the first time. As such, the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas gives you a prescription of confidence pills for your maiden HIV testing:

1. Courage Pill. Taking charge of one’s sexual health means stepping out of your comfort zone and owning to the challenge that you alone are responsible for your own sexual welfare. If you think you are at risk of a possible HIV infection (e.g. unprotected anal or vaginal sex, or injected drugs and sharing of used needles), then it is high time to get screened for HIV. Our Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas are commending you now for accepting the challenge of getting tested.

2. Knowledge Tablet. Before you head on to the testing site, it’s best to be prepared of the testing process. Knowing how the testing goes will lessen your fear of the unknown. For starters, the HIV test is conducted for free, which means you only need to show up in any of our 15 sites to get tested. Another thing to note is that fasting is not required for your HIV test. Go on and indulge on your favourite comfort food so you will be relaxed throughout the process.

3. Vitamin Trust + Open Mindedness. Our Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas will be with you for the whole-day foray, and so are our able HIV Counselors who will be there to entertain any concerns you may have on your first HIV testing. For the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas event, Community-Based Screening will be the method used for testing. Once you register, you will be assisted by our able phlebotomy team for the blood test and you will be assisted by our counselors for the results. So if you have any questions on HIV, don’t just google it. You might get more questions rather than answers so you better ask our counselors and volunteers instead.

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4. Booster Shots for Readiness. Getting tested for HIV will entail that you will know your HIV status at the end of the session, which can either be Reactive or Non-Reactive. So to speak, whatever your results may be, the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas will be with you to help you prepare for the next steps. If your results yielded a Non-Reactive result, that’s great! Your responsibility now is to take care of your sexual welfare through the Triangle of Self-Care (Timely Testing and Treatment, Safe and Satisfying Sex, and Correct and Consistent Use of Condom).

If in case your results turned out Reactive, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the line for you! We will be sending your blood samples for confirmatory and we will start with AntiRetroviral Therapy Treatment (ART) as soon as possible. The ART, in effect, will help lower HIV load in the body, which will eventually lead to an undetectable status. With proper medication and a healthy lifestyle, you can and will continue to live and love, even with HIV.

5. Safe Space Syrup. Whatever your result is, we uphold it with utmost confidentiality. Once you step in our community centers and clinic, consider it as a safe space where judgement is dusted off at the doormat and hope is served for snacks.

Now that you’re ready to get tested, sign up and head on to the nearest testing center and take charge of your sexual health! To register for the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas, click here.