The following entry is from a guest submission who has asked to remain anonymous:
Towards the end of last year, I was involved in a few flings. Taking the initiative to use preventive contraceptives (condoms), in the heat of moment of passion on two separate particular instances with two different partners, I allowed myself to become vulnerable and naive to the moment, abandoning the initial safety measures for the sake and convenience of natural yin yang exchange.
While definitely poor and risky judgment, ignorance could not be proclaimed. I knew what psychological battle my decision would entail, as I had made similar poor judgments in the past, thankful to have escaped with my health record in tact.
Having interrogated the recent sexual history of the first partner gave me particular doubts. She had broken up with her last salesman boyfriend because he was a ‘butterfly.’ She also admitted that she had occasionally had sexual relations with another regular gik, another butterfly–this one was a tour guide. Yet like most girls I’ve been involved with in the past, she couldn’t seem to grasp that she (and now I) was in particular risk group for HIV, if not other STDs.
At that time, I was about three months post surgery and haven’t exposed myself to unprotected sex since was pretty confident about my status. I finally convinced her to visit the clinic for a test since she admitted she hadn’t been in at least a year.
When she came back with a negative result in hand, I reminded her that it wasn’t one hundred percent sure just yet as her recent sexual instances before were pretty recent. I was particularly relieved though soon after started heating up with another ‘gik.’
This second girl claimed not to have had sex in a few years, and that her last partner had had a kid after the fact, which convinced her she was okay. In fact she was overly confident that she didn’t need a test. I bought it and succumbed half way through our first and only union session discarding the pest of rubber barrrier.
Come new year, I came down with a strong fever, worrying myself knowing that inoculation of any virus takesd a week to two, exactly how long it had been. I knew within that there was no point in stressing, interogating, blaiming, or bothering these girls anymore. In fact, it was all my doing and I would reep what I had sewn. Anxious as I was for the truth, I would have to wait three months to get an accurate result.
That time had come today, three months to the date since that last risky interaction. Going into a private clinic nearbye, I was ever nervous to make my inquiry. THe nurses on duty were serving a mother and her teenage and pre-teen daughter. ‘Oh great.’ I thought, anticipating the awkward situation I might be in.
Luckily, all three girls went in the back to do their checkup by the time I spoke to the nurse. I was informed the options: a 15 minute, one day, and five day test, respectively. The latter two were more detailed tests that needed to be sent off to a lab, while the 15 minute was a basic screening done in-house.
After inquiring with the on duty doctor, I decided to take the 15 minute test, learning that the detailed lab tests are more ideal for confirming the occasional positive result from basic screening, and that considering three months had passed, the basic in-house screening should be sufficient.
Drawing blood in the backroom was quick and sharp. Even after wrapping off circulation at my bicep, for some reason, they always have trouble locating my vein, having me squeeze my fist tight before slowly sticking the pinching needle at my elbow crevice.
Now the anticipation and anxiety would start to kick in. I wasn’t as nervous this time as I was going for previous tests years ago in the party days, but nonetheless feeling the butterflies filling my gut. Hadn’t eaten all day, I went for lunc down the road. I thought about all the possible scenarios and outcomes if I were to receive the dreaded news.
Finally, I went back to the clinic, seating and looking for hints in the blank nurses’ faces, receiving none. They pointed me to the doctors office, who had me sit down. Viola, the result was negative! I felt the burden lift as if I had just been granted parole from a life sentence, or perhaps leniency from a death sentence. While I should still go for a follow through test after a few months, I am confident of my negative result and plan to keep it so throughout the rest of my life.
Finding myself at the clinic, I let history repeat itself once, but don’t intend to let it again, for next time, my fortune could run out. I hope that others reading my story can learn a lesson without actually having to go through with it. In any case, going for the test is the only way we can be certain in times of doubt.