HIV & Testing

Thirty years ago, the first commercial HIV blood test was approved (read more about it here).  Before that, HIV was an unknown. No one knew how it was spread or how to treat it.  Since then, there has been so much advancement in not only HIV treatment, but in testing as well.  Before it was a slower process which took 2 clinic visits over 2 weeks.  Sometimes you also had to wait 6 months to make sure you had an accurate test result.  Tests now can detect HIV in the blood just a few days after exposure.  This especially helpful, so you can find out early and get treated, and prevent transmitting it to someone else. There is also a test available called the rapid test, which can give you your result in just a few minutes.  If you want to know what happens when you go for an HIV test today, here is a video that was developed last year, which shows you what a rapid test is, and what can happen on a typical testing appointment    Check it out below!

Testing

Depression

I saw this video and thought it was a great way to illustrate what depression is.  I know for a lot of South Asians, talking about mental health issues such as depression, isn’t something that happens too often.  There is stigma around seeking help for mental health conditions because there is a fear around being perceived as “crazy”.  I wanted to bring this up, because for a lot of  South Asian guys who like guys, due to some of our circumstances, our mental health isn’t always addressed in the best way.  For example, if you are gay and feel you can’t tell anyone, or Bi and married, this type of isolation can be a big factor that could lead to things such as depression.  The depression then can affect all other aspects of our life, and then we aren’t helping ourselves or anyone.  I know for some, having mental health issues is like coming out of another closet, and its an added challenge for those who are dealing with their sexuality or gender identity.  If you feel you might be facing some of these kinds of challenges, give the video a watch, and/or give this article a read, which will give you a better understanding of what depression is and the importance of addressing mental health issues.  I also want to say that, there are millions of people who suffer from mental illness; some because of a chemical imbalance or hereditary factors, and/or others because of traumatic events.  Remember you are not alone in this, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.