June is pretty much synonymous with all things related to PRIDE and PRIDE Parades! If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area then you are already pretty well aware of how big a deal San Francisco PRIDE really is. For us San Franciscans, PRIDE takes place on June 25 and June 26. Much more information can be found on the official PRIDE SF page here. Feel free to check with your local PRIDE chapters to get all the important information on dates and locations near you.
June 27th is also National HIV Testing Day. If you are a follower of my blog, then you know that I take HIV testing very seriously. I was trained as an HIV test counselor and spent hours and hours a week on local youth LGBTQIQ chat rooms answering any and all questions related to sex education and health. I also offered to personally take anyone to get HIV tested if they didn't want to go alone. Side not, if you are planning on attending SF PRIDE, there will probably be at least one community health clinic offering free mobile HIV testing. HIV testing is one of the most important steps you can take when it comes to your sexual health. The number of people out there who are currently HIV positive and have no idea (and maybe show no symptoms) are staggering! This is particularly true when it comes to people between the ages of 15 to 25. I absolutely know how scary it is to get tested, especially if you haven't always practiced safer sex. From a public health/medical perspective, it is much better to know what your options are and then chose an appropriate treatment route that will likely work for you, but that means you have to get HIV tested. Some people can begin to develop HIV antibodies, which is what standard HIV tests look for, in as little as 2 to 3 weeks from the time of infection.
Lastly, June 13 - June 19 (always the week leading up to father's day) is National Men's Health Week. Check out the Men's Health Network (MHN), a non-profit that is responsible for starting this campaign, which is aimed at awareness in preventable health problems in boys and men, for more information or how to participate.