Get tested

Some 20 percent of Americans with HIV don’t know they are infected with the virus, preventing them from seeking medical care to protect their health and also possibly putting their sexual partners at risk. Atlanta offers multiple venues for free HIV testing, from LGBT-led nonprofits like Positive Impact and AID Atlanta to public health departments.

Get (a) physical

HIV is often the biggest focus of LGBT health messages, for good reason. But even if you get tested for HIV at a clinic, don’t neglect to get a routine annual physical as well. For women and female-to-male transmen, don’t forget an annual gynecological exam as well. Many health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and many cancers, can be treated if detected early. The Health Initiative can provide referrals to LGBT-supportive physicians and maintains a health fund if payment is problematic.

Get going!

Sometimes the hardest part of making any health change — from any of these steps to stopping smoking or stemming other addictions — is the temptation to put it off to some other time. We overeat at the holidays by promising ourselves we will work out as our New Year’s resolution. We have one more cigarette tonight by pledging to quit tomorrow. Instead, take steps now and forgive yourself if you aren’t perfect. Lean on your friends for support, and support them in their health endeavors too.


Looking for LGBT sports, health, social and spiritual organizations to join? Check out our Organization listings under the Community tab on this page or at

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