Dear Aunty Lisa,

My girlfriend of two months is really pressing me to be tested for HIV. I have always been faithful to the people I dated before and I have used protection half of the time and I have certainly not been ill at any moment in my life. I don’t know why she is failing to realise that I am telling the truth.

She does not want to believe me and I don’t know if this relationship will last if there is no trust. I am failing to understand her and she thinks there is something wrong with me, while I think the same of her. Please help me out here.

Dear friend,

You may have trusted yourself over the past years as you used protection half the times and guarded yourself against sexually transmitted diseases – but you can never be so sure that your previous partners were doing the same. It really is better to get tested and have a medical examination to confirm that you are not infected – because when one is infected with HIV you don’t get sick immediately.

You may live normally without any signs for many years. Please do not take your partner’s proposal that you get tested as a personal insult. This has nothing to do with trust or lack of trust. She is being brave in wanting to start a life that is safe with you on a secure foundation of scientific knowledge. Remember that both your lives are at stake here. Since you will be going to get tested together, it is a good chance of also knowing where she stands and then you can make the right decisions going forward in your relationship.

If you are uncomfortable with getting tested together with her, you can visit any health institution alone and get tested for the virus. Whether positive or negative, you would need to tell her the truth about your results and there should be nothing wrong if she requests that you go again together, at least this time you will be confident and aware of your status.

Regards

Aunty Lisa

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