Today, I found out my status.
I did the most important thing a guy my age, 18, could do. I went and got tested for STDs and HIV. As a sexually active 18 year old, I felt like I needed to be responsible for knowing my status. I must admit, I went yesterday and saw a ton of people so I walked in and turned around and left. My mom did not know where I was going, I told her I was going to the bank and that I had to get some things. I went to bed last night, and promised myself I would go today in the morning. The clinic opens at 8:30am so I left the apartment at around 8:15, and I got there at 8:20.
I thought I was going to be the first one, but there were 6 other people ahead of me. I still wanted to turn around and go home, but something inside of me was telling me that I needed to get myself tested, just to be sure of my status. I was being irresponsible with sex. I had unprotected sex twice and I’ve been having unprotected oral sex. Everything went by smoothly at the clinic. They call you out by numbers and the services are free, which meant that I did not need to tell my Health Care provider or my mom. I ended up requesting a rapid HIV test and a pooled HIV test. The rapid HIV test, is, for a lack of a better word, rapid. I got the blood drawn and within 30-40 minutes I got my results. The pooled HIV test, is a blood test as well. I get the results within 10 days. Since it was my first time at the clinic, they also screened me for STDs such as gonorrea, chlamydia, syphilis etc. I don’t have any symptoms or signs of having those, so I’m not worried at all.
The counselor had to speak to me before the test and after the test. She was the one that was telling me what was going to happen if I tested positive and my following steps if I tested negative. After I got my blood drawn I waited for what seemed like an eternity, and then my results came in. I held my breath and waited. I was still nervous. She looks at her screen and she’s like you tested negative. I asked her twice and she repeated it. She said, “You’re negative.” I was relieved. Then we talked about just life in general, and she gave me a hug and said, “Your parents have raised a wonderful boy. Go on and be safe. If you need anything come see me.”
The point of me posting this on blog is because I feel like it’s important for everyone to get tested and know their status. It’s not only relieving knowing that your negative but it’s also important to know if you’re positive that you could be taking measures to prevent further spread of the disease. Knowing is everything. Being aware of your status can not only help you, but it helps everyone else around you. There are free clinics, and the offer free tests and free counseling and treatment. Find one near you.
I am HIV Negative as of 01/10/12.
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