This past week, one of our street dads finally agreed to be tested for HIV. His wife tested positive about a year ago, and although he's seen her health dramatically improve with proper care and guidance, he's refused to be tested, until now.
Dad recently got sick and suffered from vomiting, tiredness, fever, and other symptoms for over a week. Being so miserable finally got him to agree to go for testing and a checkup. When we took him, the doctor said, "finally, you caught him, yes?" "After a year..."
Unfortunately, dad tested positive. Fortunately, we now know, and he can be properly counseled and treated. Interestingly, wife told us that since finding out his status, he has stopped his drinking (let's hope that he's stopped for good).
Why the hesitation to be tested for so long? Fear, stigma, misinformation, as well as the sense that these young men have of being invincible.