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HIV testing personal stories

Lots of people worry about taking an HIV test, but it’s the only way to know your status.

It’s ok to be anxious, but getting tested is probably easier than you think. It’s quick, confidential and usually free. Here people share their experiences of testing for HIV.

Remember, if you’re positive you can take treatment to keep you healthy, and if you’re negative, knowing your status means you can stop worrying and move on.

If you have your own story to tell, you can share it with us here. We'll keep it anonymous and it could help someone thinking of going for a test.

Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply the health status or behaviour on the part of the people in the photo.

Last full review: 
04 October 2019
Next full review: 
04 October 2022
Image of young Asian man in front of wall
"I feel so relieved now because I know that I can live a long and healthy life with treatment"
head and shoulders image of a young mixed race woman looking to camera
"Getting tested was the greatest thing I did for myself because my entire lifestyle changed after that."
Hamid testing PS image of Arabic man
"I came home and told my wife - she gave me courage by saying, ‘However difficult life is, we will face it together."
A picture of a young guy in his 20's
"I drank a lot during weekends and had sex around… I was totally depressed and scared of getting tested."
“If I wouldn't have become pregnant right when I did and found out I was positive ... I would be dead by next year.”
“The nurse asked if I wanted to test for HIV. I was freaked out! But she was just so calm and cool about it...I felt kinda silly."
A smiling young man looking at the camera
"I became instantly numb, everything became a blur. My parents and boyfriend were in the room when I found out my status."
"Thank goodness I found a facility filled with sweet staff members, where I feel comfortable talking to anyone!"
"I convinced myself I had HIV but my test came back negative"
Mpho
"Since testing positive, I have never been sick and now I am even undetectable!"
calvin
“My wife was right LIFE GOES ON and nothing has changed – we just have to be a bit more careful now about our lifestyle.”
Jayden
"The fact that you are HIV-positive, doesn't mean that your life has ended."
Chanda
“Before testing, I was so worried! I thought about HIV all the time, now I don't think about it all.”
Ngala
“We were both negative. So my message is go and get tested because it’s always better to know.”
James
"HIV lives and grows off fear. The fear of rejection, the fear of a shorter life and not being able to achieve your dreams."
Last updated:
04 October 2019
Last full review:
04 October 2019
Next full review:
04 October 2022