Knowing our status is really helpful in figuring out how to best take care of ourselves, our partners, and our friends. The only way to know our HIV or Hep C status for certain is to get tested!
Both HIV and Hep C are tested for with a blood sample. Testing is usually available at youth clinics, sexual health clinics, and health centers. We are able to request a test from our doctor as well. We can find a testing site near us at www.youthco.org/test.
When accessing testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), our healthcare provider may ask about our sexual and drug use practices to decide what tests to give us. These questions may be personal, hard to answer, and not gender-affirming. Often times, the decision to test us for HIV and/or Hep C is based on stigmatizing ideas and misinformation. If we know we want to get tested for HIV or Hep C, stating or insisting that we want and know we need to get tested may help get our needs met.
If we test positive, we may have lots of feelings and questions all at once! Finding support that is right for us, such as peers, culture, or a clinic, can help us take care of ourselves.