One in five Americans surveyed by amfAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research) said he or she would be uncomfortable having a friend with HIV. Such attitudes help explain why so many people don’t get tested. Correcting false assumptions may encourage folks to know their status, extending health and life. What would you say if a friend said…

“If I get tested, people will think I’m gay.”
You might say: Nearly half of people living with HIV in the United States are heterosexual. HIV is not a gay disease.

“I don’t need a test—I don’t sleep around.”
You might say: Many positive people only had one sex partner.

“I’ve been with the same person for a year.”
You might say: You may not know that a partner has HIV.

“I look healthy.”
You might say: It takes years for HIV to progress to AIDS. You can look great and be positive.

“Why get tested? There’s no cure.”
You might say: But there are drugs that can suppress HIV and hold it in check for years. Plus, treatments may work better if you start them soon after getting HIV rather than when you’re already very ill.