Negative is Positive
Guess what? I’m negative. I’m negative for AIDS, HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, gout, scurvy, all that shit, yo (okay, the last two aren’t sexually transmitted diseases and should be ignored)! You may be thinking “He hasn’t posted in so long… why is he telling me THIS?!” Well, it’s not because I want to have sex with you (no offense). It’s also not because I was the least bit worried I’d be positive for any of those STDs and felt like I dodged bullets. Nope. I’m telling you this because I’m a man.
On a grand scale, we don’t take care of ourselves. And frankly, it’s stupid. I need us to not be stupid. There are four things I hate more than anything else on this planet: roaches, centipedes, mosquitoes and AIDS. Until I can figure out a government mandated way to eradicate the first three, I want to help kick AIDS’ ass.
The only way to do that is to make people (specifically men) stop being fearful/wary/skeptical of getting checked. Only way to do that is to lead by example. So I got tested… but I got the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle. That means my finger was pricked, blood drawn, a urine test and the dreaded “swab”.
Before I get into the particulars, let me relay this message: ALL THOSE TESTS COST ME $5! Some cases it’s even free! I’ve gotten the free HIV test before, but I hadn’t gone through this whole process until this go round.
I went mid afternoon and it still only took maybe 1.5 hours total. The doctor asked questions about my sexual history and simultaneously pricked my finger. I literally had no idea she pricked my finger until she started pushing blood out of it. It’s the most painless procedure possible and it’s the one that checks for HIV. Getting your blood pressure checked at a machine in CVS hurts more than making sure you’re HIV negative. Anyway, part of that 1.5 hours is the 15 minute wait it takes for the HIV test to finish. So on to other stuff.
Next was the blood draw. Honestly, we humans tend to psych ourselves out when it comes to needles. EVERY time I think it’s going to be this terrible stabbing and it’s nothing. If anything, the blood draw is equivalent to what I would THINK the finger prick should’ve felt like. That was probably over in 10 seconds. Sweet… I’m almost done. Then she says “This is usually when the guys run out the door.”
Awww shit. I asked if it was because of the idea of what was about to happen or because of actual discomfort. She said it was mostly the latter. Awww shit squared. [Here is the point where I’m going to be very specific; if you don’t want to read, go to the next paragraph, but know that all was good] She grabs a very thin metal rod that’s coiled at one end and has a swab at the other. She tells me I’ll need to pull my pants down so she can put the swab inside the immediate opening of my urethra (aka the tip of my junk) and use the coiled end to turn the swab. Awww shit cubed. Though nervous as all of the hell, there was no turning back. So I tried my best to relax and let her do what she had to do. But, just like everything else, it was much ado about nothing! I’m thinking it would be all types of archaic savagery and I’d be writhing in pain during and after. Instead, I believe ‘That was it?!’ was my exact quote. That was, indeed, it.
Last thing I had to do was pee in a cup. After all that other stuff, the finish line was peeing in a cup?! There’s NO WAY checking for STDs is this easy… but it is. And, yeah, that was it! Those tests went off to a lab. By the time I was done with them is when she told me I was negative for HIV and gonorrhea. Even when you know for a fact that you’re HIV negative, unless you’ve been tested, you have no idea how good it feels to be told you’re HIV negative and have it backed by actual facts. Five bucks for a clean bill of health. Five bucks to know I’m not a statistic. Five bucks to let you know this shit is easy as pie. I can’t stress enough how foolish it is for us to rather go being unsure than to spend $5 and 60+ minutes taking virtually painless tests.
I wrote this so you can understand that it’s nothing. Seriously, it’s incredibly easy. And you’ll know. And you’ll feel great knowing. Imagine having a Hot ‘n’ Ready along with documented proof that you’re HIV negative and having only spent $10. That’s the reality. So please just go get tested. It’s nothing. Listen, it’s nothing. Practice negativity. Be safe out here.