Why is testing for HIV so important? HIV testing can empower you to make more informed choices. Most people with HIV don't have any symptoms. The only way to know you have HIV is to be tested. If you are HIV-negative, you can take steps to continue to ensure your negative status. If you are HIV-positive, you can make choices to improve your health and get treatment. Either way, knowing your HIV status can help you make decisions that will help prevent the spread of HIV. If you are now or have ever been at risk for HIV, it is recommended that you get tested.