If you have even a small of doubt about having the HIV test, it is alright to say no, and say you’re not ready yet, It is important to understand that no one is forcing you, and that the process will proceed only if you want it to. But you must keep in mind that every second counts. The faster you get diagnosed the higher the risk of preventing the HIV to do more damage.
Here’s a primer on what to expect when you go for a proper HIV testing process:
Upon verification of the Medical Staff that you are indeed voluntarily submitting yourself for an HIV test, he will lead you to the medical technologist.
Step 1: The Actual Test. The nurse or the medical technologist will draw blood from a vein in one of your arms. About 5 ml of blood will be drawn. After the blood is drawn, you will be asked to stay in a waiting area.
Step 2: The Waiting. It is important to note that while you are just waiting, this is a very critical step in the process of HIV testing. This is probably the most agonizing and stressful period in the whole HIV test process. Even if the wait is only plays within 15, 20, or 30 minutes — it may feel like the longest and heaviest period in your whole life. This first test will more likely give your heart a fast beating and tendency to faint, t! So, The tips would be this: while waiting, don’t forget to breathe. If you’re alone, go to a very silent corner and practice deep breathing. If you are with a companion, you may want to talk about something totally different, or whatever topic you feel will help you relax. Whatever you do, just remember and try to relax. Easier said than done, but you must insist, try to relax. Stressing about the upcoming results will not change anything, and will just further your emotional distress. So, do what you need to do to relax.
Step 3 : The Post-Test Counseling. When your results are ready, your name will be called. This, or that your counselor will approach you and again bring you to a private area for one-on-one counseling. He will deliver the result of your HIV test and engage you in a conversational counseling session to help you map out next steps based on the results of your test. Whatever the result may be, remember that at this point, your counselor is your best ally. Ask him any question you may have. He is there to help you the best he can. After your counseling session, you may leave the premises.
Whatever the result of your HIV test, congratulate yourself for having the courage to go through the process. As you will discover, it is not very easy, and it can be such a harrowing and agonizing experience — especially if you let fear get the better of you. But as you step out of the testing venue, give yourself a pat on the back. You went through your test because you love yourself. You went through it because you care for your loved ones. Regardless of the result, for most of us, it will be like a thorn is plucked from your aching heart, or a huge baggage is lifted from your heavy chest. Now you know your status, you are in the best position to take care of yourself. Because you have dared to know, you can take care of yourself better, and share more the love you have for yourself and for others.