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The anxiety of not knowing something can drive you to pull an ‘Adele’ and call out in desperation in a windy forest with your hands in your hair or even lose your ‘ish’ like Casper Nyovest did.

Lacking information that you want can be very frustrating. After all, knowledge is power. Unlike insight into whether or not Charlie Sheen is bisexual, there are things you can be sure of, like your HIV and STI status. Here’s the lowdown on how to do this.

  1. So you have sex with other guys, that’s cool. But If you’re having regular sex with more than one person or if you think your partner is, you should get tested for HIV and STIs every 6 months, even if you are using protection.
  2. “When should I get tested?”, you may ask. SOON and very soon. The sooner you get tested the better. With HIV, syphilis and hepatitis, the quicker you begin treatment the more effective it will be.
  3. Getting your results back will take time. So be patient and ALWAYS use a condom when having sex. Different STIs manifest after different lengths of time: gonorrhoea and chlamydiasymptoms can manifest within 7 to 8 days, syphilis can take between 9 and 90 days to show up in a test. HIV screening is most effective 4 weeks after possible exposure.
  4. In and out. Rapid testing for HIV and syphilis takes approximately 20 minutes. It’s a lunch break well spent. Click here to find a free clinic near you.
  5. Genital warts (HPV) and herpes can be diagnosed symptomatically by your healthcare professional.
  6. How to spot it? Genital warts manifest as hard flesh-coloured bumps around your penis or anus. Syphilis can emerge as a sore or blister inside your mouth, on your genitals and around or inside your anus. Syphilis can also present with a skin rash or mouth sores and ulcers. Hepatitis presents as fatigue, yellowing of the skin and dark urine. Persistent flu-like symptoms could be an indication of HIV infection. Any kind of discharge from your penis or anus could indicate an STI, like gonorrhoea. If in doubt, take time out to get tested for HIV and gonorrhoea.
  7. HIV-positive individuals are generally more vulnerable to the complications of some STIs that may compromise their immune systems. Using protection, such as a condom is always a good idea, no matter what your status is.

Got questions? Talk to Us, or read up on some of the more frequently asked questions we receive, they may help.

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