The number of people who don’t get tested for HIV, or who test late (when they’re already ill), is alarming. HIV-positive people often have the best sense of how to encourage testing. Here’s one tip, from LaTrischa Miles, diagnosed in 1995 and now a treatment adherence specialist at the Kansas City Free Health Clinic in Missouri:
“People are more likely to seek HIV testing in environments where they perceive staff to be non-judgmental about sexual and drug-use behavior. And if people are concerned about becoming targets of stigma, they are more likely to delay getting care—or not to take their meds if they do get into care.”
Doctors, nurses and ASO staff, are you listening? Please don’t ask us how we got HIV or make assumptions about our behavior.