There is a good reason why I liked the name The Paulinator when suggested titles were being thrown around prior to writing for the Neighborbee Blog. It has a wonderful suggested meaning that simply put, describes me perfectly.
I have said it before, I enjoy sex. I know that many people feel differently about this subject, but if there is one thing that we should all agree on, it is that you should know your health status if you have an active sex life. This is why I make it a point to play safe. When searching Manhunt or Adam4Adam for an evening hookup, I do my best to search for “HIV-” individuals and there is always protection. As cheesy as it is, ‘no glove, no love!’
Over a year and a half ago, I had a hot guy, TommyBoy, come over and while we were talking, he was surprised I had never gone to have an HIV test. Being in the closet it was one of those things I never thought to bring up, even with a doctor. He convinced me that I should go and then he would sleep with me. The following day I did some research to find a clinic that would administer a test as anonymously as possible. I came across Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. I was incredibly nervous and really could not believe I was sitting there about to go through this test, which I sort of had an idea about from reading the brief materials online.
I recently went back again for the first time since my initial visit and couldn’t believe how much had changed for me, especially since coming out. The first time I was there, I didn’t want anyone to know I was there the so the emergency contact I put down was my second phone line and a made up name. I also was not as scared this second time as I was before. I remember sitting in the doctor’s room crying because I was nervous and didn’t know what the results would be. This time around, I knew there was almost a 0% chance of it coming back positive.
For those that don’t know their HIV status, I urge you, before you go out and infect others, to go get yourself tested. If you head over to Callen-Lorde, they actually are now doing Rapid HIV Testing for FREE! There is really no reason not to know your status now is there? What the test entails, in case you don’t know, is your finger getting pricked. It doesn’t hurt at all. They then take a sample of the blood, which is about the side of a pen tip and test it. Twenty minutes later, they bring you the results! Voila! So, if you haven’t been tested ever, or haven’t in a while, why not consider and know your status?