An experience with being tested for HIV,

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    Nov 16, 2009 5:14 PM GMT
    I recently came by the clinic to be tested for HIV, and, suffice it to say, I have never been through such a powerful experience of apprehension, worry, fear, and then immeasurable relief that I tested negative. What impressed me most of all, however, was the way in which everyone in your office, especially the man who tested me did an incredible job of calming me and making me feel comfortable. Had I been in the unfortunate situation of receiving a positive test, I know that I would have been in the right place with the right people to hear that news.

    Since that day, I have thought a lot about your organization, and now I want to know if I can help. I had the realization just this evening, while at a meeting of an all male sexual assault peer education group on Grounds that I am a part of, that very few people have been tested for HIV. As is tradition in meetings, we all circle at the end to share our stories from the week. I shared my story of being tested, and several of the guys approached me afterward to ask me about and mentioned that they have been too frightened to be tested themselves. I wasn't surprised really, but I knew that that wasn't the best attitude.
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    Nov 16, 2009 6:29 PM GMT
    My experience is similar. I'm sure if my test would have come out positive, I would have been in good hands.
    it's also nice now, that you can get tested and have the result within an hour (waiting for several days isn't easy). if you wanted, the staff at the clinic I went to also offered to have someone for you to talk to (keep you company) while you'd wait for the result.
  • AtxBobOmb

    Posts: 36

    Nov 16, 2009 7:56 PM GMT
    That's really cool guys. Getting tested is one of the easiest and hardest things people can do. I was never very permiscious but believed firmly in getting tested every 6 months. I remember my first test in college and I was so nervous. Thank goodness we had a wonderful sexual health support staff. I've been tested since, and taken friends for their first tests. It gets easier but can still be nerve racking. Good luck and keep it up. Remember, not knowing is worse than knowing.
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    Nov 16, 2009 8:05 PM GMT
    If you piss blood, your kidneys are fucked. But, I don't worry everytime I go to take a piss because it is something I do several times a day.

    Likewise, getting tested regularly becomes routine. You stop worrying.

    Glad you got tested. Now make a habit of it. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 16, 2009 8:30 PM GMT
    Zombie speaks the truth. Each time you get tested, it gets a little easier.

    Which reminds me, I'm due for my semi-annual test.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Nov 16, 2009 9:12 PM GMT
    Eventhough I have not bare back ever since my late 20's, (I am 44 now). I have never get tested for HIV. I just not emotionally prepare for any possiblity that I might be positive. Eventhough I am safe sex all the way, but I have a lot of multiple sexual partner . As unlikely as it is, the possiblity is there.
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    Nov 16, 2009 9:29 PM GMT
    I remember back in 2001 when my then love said he had been having an affair and he had contracted HIV. He knew for months but was ashamed to tell me, so instead, he just continued to have unsafe sex with me.

    By a miracle of God, I just up and left him. When I broke up after 8 years, he told me he was HIV+ and probably got it from me, which I knew to be untrue because I was faithful.

    I remember walking into that clinic like it was this afternoon. This black lady took me into her office and I explained my reasoning for being tested. I cried. she held my hand. She held my hand and told me it was going to be ok.

    They took blood and I went and sat in the car. I called my mom and cried some more, just sure of it. I was ashamed of what might be. Silly to think of it now but I did.

    I ent back the next day and the same lady pulled me into her office and said "You have an angel on your shoulder honey". I cried again. I am crying now. Sorry.

    My wonderful husband of 8 years is HIV+. I am HIV- still. I continue to be tested and YES, it becomes easier. One never forgets their first time, especially if it is such an emotional time in your life.
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    Nov 16, 2009 11:02 PM GMT
    God bless these sensitive, kind-hearted health workers!
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    Nov 16, 2009 11:09 PM GMT
    I get tested regularly every three months. For most people it might get easier, but for me it doesn't. About 2 years ago I went in to a local clinic as I always do, filled out the paperwork, sat down and waited my turn, got pricked, waited only to find out that the test came back positive. As precaution, they retested and found the first test was a false negative. Waiting for the second set of test results was just about the longest hour of my life...I sat there shaking staring at the wall. There were a few other people in the room, enough chairs for about another 10 people, but I stood in the corner with my forehead against the wall. Needless to say every test since has been negative and I breathe the biggest sigh of relief ever once I walk out the door.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Nov 16, 2009 11:14 PM GMT
    Wow Collegekid, that must have been the longest hour of your life! I am glad that the result was so good though!
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    Nov 16, 2009 11:31 PM GMT
    ASGCville said I recently came by the clinic to be tested for HIV, and, suffice it to say, I have never been through such a powerful experience of apprehension, worry, fear, and then immeasurable relief that I tested negative. What impressed me most of all, however, was the way in which everyone in your office, especially the man who tested me did an incredible job of calming me and making me feel comfortable. Had I been in the unfortunate situation of receiving a positive test, I know that I would have been in the right place with the right people to hear that news.

    Since that day, I have thought a lot about your organization, and now I want to know if I can help. I had the realization just this evening, while at a meeting of an all male sexual assault peer education group on Grounds that I am a part of, that very few people have been tested for HIV. As is tradition in meetings, we all circle at the end to share our stories from the week. I shared my story of being tested, and several of the guys approached me afterward to ask me about and mentioned that they have been too frightened to be tested themselves. I wasn't surprised really, but I knew that that wasn't the best attitude.

    Thank you for sharing a wonderful post!

    I am tested regularly for HIV, though my risk is zilch. My partner & I are monogamous, and we both test negative every time.

    But we work at an HIV/AIDS agency, and we talk with gay men in our community about this issue. We would have no credibility with the people we serve if we could not honestly say that we are tested regularly ourselves.

    At the same time, the very first time I was tested for HIV I held my breath. I had whored around, not being wildly unsafe but not terribly safe either.

    I got a pass. God or just dumb luck had smiled on me. That's not a good enough formula for success. Now I work & contribute money, as my partner does, to promote safe sex, and to provide for those who were struck by this plague, for whatever reason it happened to them..

    Testing can be a tough thing to face. So is infecting someone else. If you're any kind of man, you will have it done. Today!
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Nov 17, 2009 5:11 PM GMT
    I just went to the Dr. for my physical. Tetnus Shot, Flu SHot, TB test and the ole finger up the hole.
    When they are talking about this 'universal' health care (NOT getting on a soap box)
    but routine checks, physicals and testing like has been talked about here should be what is invovled. Not special cases.
    Don't become lax in your health. It's yours to lose!
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    Nov 18, 2009 8:33 AM GMT
    collegekid2004 saidI get tested regularly every three months. For most people it might get easier, but for me it doesn't. About 2 years ago I went in to a local clinic as I always do, filled out the paperwork, sat down and waited my turn, got pricked, waited only to find out that the test came back positive. As precaution, they retested and found the first test was a false negative. Waiting for the second set of test results was just about the longest hour of my life...I sat there shaking staring at the wall. There were a few other people in the room, enough chairs for about another 10 people, but I stood in the corner with my forehead against the wall. Needless to say every test since has been negative and I breathe the biggest sigh of relief ever once I walk out the door.


    Hugs cutie icon_biggrin.gif
  • MercuryMax

    Posts: 713

    Nov 18, 2009 8:38 AM GMT
    This is an interesting post. Only because I can relate to what you're saying. I recently got tested and found the environment to be the same exact way as you described it. I was so very relieved at the end of the day to find out that I am Clean and Clear.

    The staff were all very informative, polite, and calming. I found it to be even more interesting that they were non-judgemental...just informative and calming.
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    Nov 18, 2009 8:45 AM GMT
    WildjokerQ saidI remember back in 2001 when my then love said he had been having an affair and he had contracted HIV. He knew for months but was ashamed to tell me, so instead, he just continued to have unsafe sex with me.

    By a miracle of God, I just up and left him. When I broke up after 8 years, he told me he was HIV+ and probably got it from me, which I knew to be untrue because I was faithful.

    I remember walking into that clinic like it was this afternoon. This black lady took me into her office and I explained my reasoning for being tested. I cried. she held my hand. She held my hand and told me it was going to be ok.

    They took blood and I went and sat in the car. I called my mom and cried some more, just sure of it. I was ashamed of what might be. Silly to think of it now but I did.

    I ent back the next day and the same lady pulled me into her office and said "You have an angel on your shoulder honey". I cried again. I am crying now. Sorry.

    My wonderful husband of 8 years is HIV+. I am HIV- still. I continue to be tested and YES, it becomes easier. One never forgets their first time, especially if it is such an emotional time in your life.



    Amazing! God is so good and deserves endless amounts of praises!
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    Nov 30, 2009 6:05 PM GMT
    I work at ASG in Charlottesville, the "clinic" sited in the original email. My coworker, the one about whom the post was written, showed me the email and an extended letter the writer sent just to my coworker as thanks. I was so moved by the writer's works that I shared his email with the staff at our staff meeting. Isn't this what we really strive to do at an AIDS service organization? We have many programs for many individuals, at risk, positive, or otherwise, but to hear the kind things said about George (the tester) and the staff the writer encountered, made all of us feel that despite always needing improvement, we're at least doing what we should for those coming in to be tested. We test around 1000 people per year, and we hope that each and every one has the experience our kind writer did. It is always a frightening, stressful, and unpleasant time. All we can do is make it free, 20 minutes, and in an environment where you can learn more and never feel judged.
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    Nov 30, 2009 7:06 PM GMT
    Both my partner & I test regularly for HIV, even though our risk is zero, being monogamous. We do it for 3 reasons:

    Men cheat. We each lost a previous partner to AIDS, because their own previous partners cheated and infected each of them. We voluntarily show our results to each other, without being asked, as a gesture of good will.

    Second, we both work with an HIV/AIDS agency. Regular testing is our mantra there, and we need to set an example for others. When other men ask us about testing, we need to be able to say: "Yes, I test every few months, and so should you." Saying that we don't test, because we're low risk, would send the wrong message. There's only one answer gay men should hear from us there: test regularly, as we do.

    Third, we also support a GLBT community center, which offers free testing. As above, we feel an obligation to set the correct example for others. If these 2 old married guys choose to get tested, how much more so should the young single guys?
  • myklet1

    Posts: 345

    Mar 14, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    judoguy saidMy experience is similar. I'm sure if my test would have come out positive, I would have been in good hands.
    it's also nice now, that you can get tested and have the result within an hour (waiting for several days isn't easy). if you wanted, the staff at the clinic I went to also offered to have someone for you to talk to (keep you company) while you'd wait for the result.


    I do the rapid test......20 min. wait. I counsel in a very friendly and concerned manner during that time. I hate to give a positive result, but when I do at least I know they are in good hands. I stay with them and ask them if I can contact them the next day to see how they are doing. I do sometimes go above and beyond, but I feel once I leave work that is my own business. I am a very compassionate person.
  • Midas426

    Posts: 965

    Apr 23, 2010 6:52 AM GMT
    I went and got tested yesterday (04/22). It's one of those things I dread doing but I know it's something I have to do. I admit to being really nervous each time. I was even spending this week reading the various messages on the HIV/AIDS board to see how informed I was. The "crocodile blood" thing definitely peaked my interest. $95 for 30 days though....wow. Definitely not cheap.

    Anyway I'm rambling....

    The health worker that helped administer the test was nice to me and put me at ease. I did the Orasure swab test. I decided to get tested for the clap and gonorrhea while I was at it since he said all they needed was a urine sample.

    While I went off extracting that, he went to work on another person getting tested. I came back about 10 minutes later and had to wait till he was done with that person.

    I was summoned back into the room and he was busy with some files and then had to run out of the room.

    I was sitting in the room getting antzy. I looked at the Orasure swab and saw that there was a line across the 'C'. I decided to do a quick search on my blackberry for Orasure + C results and was thankful to find that 'C' meant negative.

    The health worker came back and concluded the same. Whew.


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    Apr 23, 2010 7:01 AM GMT
    They can now do a test which takes 30-seconds. They prick your thumb and take a tiny vial's worth of blood and mix with something else and if you're negative a blue dot appears on the bottom of the vial within 20-30 seconds.

    It's painless and quick.
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    Apr 23, 2010 8:26 AM GMT
    zakariahzol saidEventhough I have not bare back ever since my late 20's, (I am 44 now). I have never get tested for HIV. I just not emotionally prepare for any possiblity that I might be positive. Eventhough I am safe sex all the way, but I have a lot of multiple sexual partner . As unlikely as it is, the possiblity is there.


    I can't understand this attitude.

    It's such a 'head in the sand' aproach. I mean your not emotionally prepared to get tested yet you've lived you whole life not knowing your status, which in my opinion is worse!

    Crazy stuff.