Ask for these tests at your next checkup
Is it time for your annual checkup? Ask your doctor if these tests are right for you.
If you are HIV-negative, talk to your doctor about how often you should get tested for HIV. At a minimum, all men who have sex with men should get tested for HIV once every year. If you’re on PrEP, the recommendation is once every three to six months. The same holds true if you aren’t on PrEP but have sex with more than one partner.
If you are HIV-positive, talk to your doctor about how often you should have your viral load and T-cells tested. The frequency will vary depending on how long you’ve been on meds and how well you’re doing with taking pills every day.
Getting an HIV test? Ask your doctor to also test for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis—and why not ask for a Hep C test while you’re at it?
When you get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia, your doctor needs to take a sample from all of the places you might have come in contact with those infections. You may need a throat swab as well as an anal swab and/or a penis swab or urine sample. Tests for HIV, syphilis, and Hep C can all be performed with one sample of blood.
Anal, colon, and prostate cancer
Get screened early and often! Annual screenings for anal, colon, and prostate cancer are recommended for all men over 40. Tell your doctor if you have a family history of these (or any other type of) cancers, or if you’ve had warts on your penis or in your throat or anus.
Talk to your doctor about staying up to date with all of your shots, including vaccines for the flu, shingles, and pneumonia. There are also recommended vaccines for men who have sex with men, including Hep A, Hep B, and HPV.
Don’t forget about your heart! Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly. Ask your doctor how often you need these heart-healthy tests based on your age, family history, and lifestyle.
There are a variety of other tests your doctor can perform to make sure you’re healthy, including tests for blood glucose, hearing, vision, and skin cancer. Don’t be afraid to ask!