4 Signs That It’s Time To Get Tested/PrEP
Why is it so hard for us to listen to the signs? Why do we often ignore the red flags and drive deeper into danger? This is especially true when it comes to our sexual health. According to the CDC, safe sex practices are on the decline among gay men. Conversely, STIs are on the rise. The CDC also found that there’s a significant difference in how subsections of the gay community experiences healthcare and safe-sex resources like PrEP. The CDC found that 95% of white men, 87% of Latino men, and 43% of Black men are knowledgeable about PrEP. Then even worse, only 58% of white, 44% of Latino, and 43% of Black men said they discussed the preventative medication with a physician.
That’s no way to live. But are we really in danger? Are there signs in our daily lives that it’s time to start acting ahead of any problems? If you need support in seeing the signs, here’s a small list to help.
1. The Testing Fear
Does the very thought of getting tested scare you? If so, that’s the first sign that you should get tested or get protection. Feeling your heartbeat increase, your palms get sweaty, or thoughts race around your mind could be considered a bad thing. But in actuality, they can be a good thing too. That fear is a sign that there’s an issue here. One that you can confront. In the end, your fear is a warning that testing or taking action for safe-sex are good ideas. If nothing else, getting tested can end that fear. No matter the result, you’ll have faced your problem head-on. We’re proud of you for doing it.
2. When You Put “Sometimes” In A Safe-Sex Questionnaire
Or maybe, you should be paying attention to what you write. Have you ever filled out a questionnaire and wrote “sometimes” when asked about safe-sex? Keep in mind, this isn’t to shame anyone. But that sometimes is a sign of risky behavior. Of course, we don’t know you’re lives. you could put sometimes and have a stable partner. But if not, that simple circle around the word “sometimes” might be a sign of something more going on.
3. When A Hookup/Lover Ghosts You
Dating in the modern age is hard. This is especially true on dating apps like Grindr, Tinder, or Jack’d. It doesn’t help that ghosting is now an acceptable way to end a “situationship.” And with every vanishing hookup or lover, we’re left with the question of whether we should get tested. The answer is yes.
4. 3 Months Have Passed
Lastly, the biggest sign you should pay attention to is time. Right now, the most standard opinion is that you should get tested every three months. If you are sexually active, you should visit a clinic every quarter of the year. Though, there are some tests that allow you to get tested within one month of potential infection. The main point is to get regularly tested.
Bottom Line: Get Tested. Get PrEP.
If one or more of these signs sound familiar to you, take care of yourself. STIs are a fact of life, and sexually active people are likely to encounter, at least, one in life. But, you should still protect or treat yourself.
There are plenty of clinics available to provide you with safe spaces for that test or help you acquire PrEP. Or, there are now telemedicine companies and services that do the same. With telemedicine platforms like MISTR, you can get access to PrEP (Truvada and Descovy) and/or STI testing. This allows you to take a lab test from home for FREE in California, Florida, Texas, and several other states. Otherwise, you can just pay $99 per quarter with even no insurance. Insurance or not, MISTR will manage paperwork, the back and forth with insurance companies/assistance programs, and more. If you are struggling with expensive co-pays or if your regular pharmacy doesn’t deliver, MISTR will even get your medication covered and delivered for free.
Take care of yourself, get tested, and listen to the signs.