Life: Getting Myself Tested For HIV

I want you to know that I hate clinics. And pills.

A couple weeks ago, a person I had previously hooked up with contacted me to say he was HIV positive. I stood there quietly as I reread his text. I was shocked and didn’t know how to feel. I asked him when he found out and if I should be worried. He told me he had been positive for 6 months, but that he was undetectable now. He kept on insisting that we should sex again and to forget about using condoms. I stopped listening. He continued going on about how condoms burn him, make him break out, and how much he loved bareback sex. I just hung up. But I didn’t mean to be rude. He chose to engage in high risk behaviors and became HIV positive. I chose not to have sex with him again.

I walked into the clinic early in the morning the next day. I gave the receptionist my personal information and told her that I had been to this particular clinic before. She smiled and told me to wait in the lobby until I was called. I took a seat and saw a couple holding hands in front of me. They were watching T.V. and occasionally the guy would burst out laughing. I smiled. They were a cute couple. On the left of me was a girl who looked no more than 20 years old. She stared at the T.V., but never laughed. Not even during the funny parts. I continued watching T.V. until the nurse called my name.

I walked into the other room and knew the procedure. I took everything out of my pockets and got weighed. I had lost four pounds. The nurse gave me a small container to pee in and told me go inside the bathroom. I took a pee, left the container inside, washed my hands, and stared at myself in the mirror. I stood there for a few minutes. Then I began to cry. I don’t know why. After, I washed my face, walked to another room, and waited for the doctor.

She was petite and had a friendly smile. She asked the usual questions: Are you on any type of medication? Are you experiencing any type of symptoms? How many sex partners have you had since your last check up? I told her that I was not on any type of medication and I didn’t know what were symptoms of HIV. She started explaining a few symptoms and I just nodded. I really just wanted to leave. She then asked how many sex partners I had in the last year and suddenly I became sad. I told her I didn’t know. It was a pretty rough year for me. She told me to make an estimate, so I did. I had never lied to a doctor before. She made a note, walked toward the door, and said the nurse would be there shortly to take my blood.

I waited quietly for the nurse. She walked inside and told me to extend my right arm so she could take my blood. I did as I was told and looked the other way. I didn’t want to see her or the needle. I had always been afraid of seeing blood. As, I sat there staring at the wall, I thought about the first time I got tested and how scary the experience had been. I thought about the time I found out I had gonorrhea and the embarrassment I felt telling my partners. I thought about how much I hated taking the pill to get rid of it. I thought about how I could recall the number of sex partners a few years earlier and how I now couldn’t. I then felt a sharp pain on my arm. I never was used to the needle. The nurse told me it would be over soon. I said okay and continued looking at the wall. Time had never moved more slowly in my life.

Once done, the nurse gave me condoms and told me to check out in the front. I walked to the receptionist and she said that the clinic would call if the results showed anything positive. I thanked her and quickly walked to my car. I sat there and looked at the bandage that the nurse put on my arm and touched it lightly. The pain was gone. There was nothing I could do now, but wait to get my results. And for a small moment, everything seemed alright. I started the car, hid the bag of condoms in the glove compartment, and drove home.

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45 thoughts on “Life: Getting Myself Tested For HIV

  1. Will you post the results? I’ve been there with the crying just bubbling up. Like a big pressure in the chest forcing it’s way out of my eyes…I hate waiting. . .

  2. Please keep us all posted.. would really like to know.. I was emotional for a while after I read your post.. But you did the right thing to get the test done.. In my prayers

  3. We are so on the same level here as I posted a similar theme a few days back. Not being able to give details on your sexual partners is such a reality check. I feel your pain. Hope this all ends well.

  4. Hi Eddy,

    I had just dropped by to say thanks for visiting my blog but I was not expecting this post. I am truly sorry to hear about this and can’t even imagine what you must be going through right now.

    My prayers and good wishes are with you, my friend. Please do post an update regarding the test results. May Allah be with you.


  5. I really enjoy reading your blog. Your honesty blows me away. I don’t think you were rude by hanging up. I think I would of been much ruder. Lol. Good luck with the results.

  6. I honestly don’t know what to say. My natural reaction is to give you a huge hug. But since I can’t, this comment will have to do. (it wasn’t by accident that you stumble upon my post a little bit ago. I’m so glad that I clicked over here and read this post! In my prayers my new friend.) 🙂

  7. You took the decision to get tested. That in itself takes a huge amount of courage. Like you mentioned, it’s a waiting game now. Hope all turns out for the best. Regardless, you’ve got plenty of people who are eager to hear about the next steps of your journey.

  8. How well you describe this experience. Every emotion, every detail. I bear witness with this experience as it evokes some emotion of my first and second HIV test. Thanks for sharing bud!

  9. Hope your results come back quickly and you get the all clear. It’s never an easy thing to hear about a past lover who’s contracted HIV or any STD/STI, and the stress it brings knowing you have to get tested. We’ve all been there at one point or another. All the best x

  10. When you get the results whether good or bad, take a deep breath, love your life and rejoice, for even if the worst fears comes true, you can survive. With the will along with new medications, you can survive and possibly overcome. Best wishes, I pray you will not be infected and if you are, you will live a long and beautiful life.

  11. This must be a very difficult time for you, but having the guts to get tested is admirable enough, and writing about it is wayyy more courageous. You will be okay, I know for sure.

    My prayers,

  12. You’re not alone. I couldn’t even begin to estimate my number of sex partners… And I’m not sure if I’m proud about that, but there it is. I also don’t know how many had HIV. Since I use drugs, my guess is most of them did. My Bf a while back was positive and not on meds. Somehow, I’ve escaped the consequences of my actions. But every trip to the STD clinic reminds me of the giant lurking around the corner. I remember being thrilled that all I had was syphilis, or gonorrhea, or anything else (again, I’m not proud…). At least I didn’t have HIV! However, I’m prepares to accept that some day, if I don’t change my behavior, that test might come back different. Most of my friends are poz, so I can’t say anything degrading about it… In truth, it’s just another disease, one that you can’t always protect yourself from, no matter how hard you try. So you live whatever life you’re given, you take the pills, and you move on. Now, are you aware of PrEP and PEP? If you’re engaging in risky behavior on a routine basis, talk to your doctor about going on preventative medication (one pill, once a day). If you know that you’ve been exposed, you have 72 hours to get to the ER to go on PEP and kill the virus. You’ll be put on a month regimen of antiretrovirals, it’s not pretty, but you’ll knock out the virus. So, I guess it’s not true that you just take your lot in life… Be an active participant in your health and stay safe.

  13. I got tested for VD once and I was surprised that it wasn’t as awkward as I expected. It did kinda make me nervous though. Kinda ballsy (if you’ll excuse the turn of phrase) for you to write about it. Way to go man!

  14. Unfortunately, I had a very similar experience a few years back, with a guy that was in an open relationship and had ‘only been with me and tested positive in syphilis’ which, of course, it actually meant ‘it’s you who gave it to me’. Thanks god everything went well, got also HIV test and everything was okay.
    But I felt truly bad for the accusatory tone. I hope he had a good conversation with his boyfriend after I told him I was clean 😉

  15. I remembered learning about HIV in Bio class years ago. But can’t remember what it was. Doesn’t help by the fact that I only goes to clinic once a year and that’s only for flu. Only thought about HIV after I binge watch Queer as Folk few days ago.

  16. I was wondering if you were looking for a change? I have been able to help people if you are interested in private chat. Life change that will bring health and healing emotionally and physically. 😬

  17. Thanks for sharing your story. Have you made any lifestyle changes since then? I don’t participate in the hook up culture but can see why it can be a source of shame

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this. I got very emotional reading it. Your description of the other people at the clinic laughing or not at the TV really hit home with me. I feel like I am the most observant of other people when I want to get away from myself. I’ve been in the getting tested situation and I want to extend my love and gratitude to you for putting your experience into words.

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