April 13, 2010

Know Your Status

It was a Monday. I went to the Bryan Center to participate in the Know Your Status program. I’ve done this before. Ever since I became sexually active, I have gotten tested for HIV and other STI’s; however, this time was different. I was not going for a regular check-up. I did not go into it assuming that the test was going to come out negative. I went because one of my past sexual partners had contacted me. He told me that he just tested positive for HIV and that it was advisable that I do the same. I was scared. So many thoughts were running through my mind.

HIV does not discriminate. I know that as an educated college student who practices safe sex and who is not a drug user, I have felt removed from the virus. It is something I have read much about and am fully aware of the statistics, but I never thought that it would hit so close to home. I took the obvious precautions to be safe, but always felt that they were at times unnecessary.

It is extremely important that as sexually active individuals, we know our status and the status of those we are engaging in sexual intercourse with.

While I was sitting waiting for the results, my mind was racing. We were safe. We thought we knew each other’s statuses. We did everything “right,” yet here I was in a situation that was only supposed to happen to people who did “wrong.” While my test did come out as negative, my life has been forever changed. This has been one of the scariest weeks of my life and no one should ever have to go through this fear. I urge everyone who reads this to go out and get tested and continue getting tested for the rest of your life. There is no excuse not to and there is never a reason to stop getting tested.

7 comments:

  1. So important. Continual conversations about sexual safety and health are vital. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and I'm glad everything turned out ok.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this Jack. It is absolutely critical that everyone be informed about sexual safety. You're absolutely right when you say that HIV doesn't discriminate, too often we forget this. I'm really glad you're ok.

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  3. Jack, my heart stopped a little. Thanks for the poignant reminder. I'm happy to hear that your test came back negative.

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  4. Jack, thanks so much for posting this and for being open to letting us know what you were going through. I just hope you know that I am extremely happy you are okay. =)

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  5. This is incredibly important. Thank you for posting this and sharing your story.

    Some things in life never seem real until they hit close to home. Cancer, hunger, poverty, STIs, and HIV are words that we read often on headlines and in textbooks; but each of those words hold such a different meaning off the pages.

    Jack, I am glad that you got tested, and even more glad that you are okay. Your past sexual partner did the right thing by contacting you, and I wish him the best of health for the future.

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  6. I know as a counselor it is extremely scary to talk to someone who is high-risk. There is no room for judgment. I often have difficulty knowing what to say to clients who blame or judge themselves for their past behavior. I am fortunate to have never seen a positive result and am immensely relieved that your test came back negative.

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  7. Jack, thank you so much for posting this. Like everyone else, I think this is SUCH a crucial topic to talk about openly and to be aware of, not just intellectually, but in how it plays out in our own lives. I can't even imagine how frightening this experience must have been. I'm so so glad that you are okay, and like Ari I wish the person who contacted you the best of health for the future.

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