We Want You: Help Us Create an Army of Avatars

By Neil G. Giuliano

If you’ve recently been tested for HIV, thank you for your commitment to maintaining your health and always knowing your status. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone in for a test, I encourage you to take action. We encourage all HIV negative gay men to get tested for HIV every six-months regardless of risk and HIV positive men get screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) every 3 months. Now is the time to visit a free testing clinic near you or make an appointment with your doctor.

Whether you’re HIV negative or HIV positive, San Francisco AIDS Foundation has created a unique way to find a place to get an HIV test or receive screenings for other STIs, and encourage all your friends to get tested as well. 

Take some time to visit www.ManyShadesOfGay.org. You can create your own special avatar to share through your social media channels to let everyone know your commitment to regular testing. The site also allows you set up reminders for when it’s time to get another HIV test or STI screening.

Knowing your HIV status is critically important to your health, and the health of our entire community. We still see between one-two new infections every day in San Francisco, and close to 7,000 new HIV infections annually in California. Receiving care and treatment soon after being diagnosed with HIV provides vastly better health outcomes for you and your sex partners.

So get tested, know your status, and take control of your health.

Have you made an avatar? When was the last time you got tested for HIV, or received a screening for an STI? What words of encouragement do you have for someone thinking about getting a test?

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