Tuesday, December 1, 2009

REPOST: P.S.A: Shedding Light on Scary Words

I originally posted this in March, today seems appropriate to re-post.
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"It's time for another P.S.A. Don't skim, read it. Damn it." - Diva


There aren’t too many things that scare me. Spiders, nope. Monsters under my bed...nope. Having dreams about running in a naked marathon...not so much. But who knew that there would be three words, (sometimes four) that scare me. Or rather three acronyms.

Last week, and the week before last, I was obsessed. I tend to do it atleast twice a year. Stay up surfing the net, googling, and reading all of the latest info. Then talking to the nurse about new statistics...Diva, what are you talking about??? HIV, AID's, STD’s. Yep, those words scare the shit out of me and it boggles me, why they don’t scare other people. I mean, I would have to question someone who is more worried about getting preggers (or getting someone preggers) than catching one of these three letter words. Or maybe they do scare people so much, they can’t even bring themselves to utter the said word. So lets say it: HIV, AID's, STD's...

I remember the first time I went to get tested. My gosh, it was the longest 3 minutes and the longest week of my life.

I go into the center and am the only person there. This attractive counselor meets me and starts asking me all kinds of questions?

Him: Do you use needles

(In my head) - Do I look like I use needles?

Me: No

Him: Do you have multiple partners

(In my head) - How dare he?

Me: No, I’m celibate

Him: Have you engaged in sex with men, women or both?

(In my head) - WTF???

Me: Men

The questions went on & on. Then we did the oral swab (OraSure) and it was done. Just like that. But not quite. I had to wait almost one week for my results. That was the LONGEST week of my life. Someone calls me from the office, “can’t you just tell me over the phone?” - no, it’s policy, you have to come in, the voice replies.

I go in, and am forced to wait in the office. Then I’m called to a smaller room.

My heart stops beating. I can barely move. I feel like I could pass out at any moment.

The same counselor that did the swab is reading something to me. I don’t know, I can’t hear. My eyes are blurry...then he hands me the paper.

Him: Are you ok?

Me: Yes, I was just scared?

Him: Well you are ok, you’re negative. In my eight years of working here, I can count on one hand how many times I had to give bad news, and they were extreme cases. Just be sure to be safe, use protection and to get tested every 6 months to a year.

My heart started beating again. That was the year I stayed celibate. I was so utterly terrified, scared, and petrified of those scary acronyms...


Educate yourselves, use protection, get tested.

Start here:
http://www.avert.org/america.htm
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex-101.htm
http://www.aids.gov/
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm#hivest


(The fourth scary word is unrelated, another blog another time)

6 comments:

DaniB said...

Great Post. Its like you hear it everyday on the tv or radio but you really don't pay attention

Chaotically Calm said...

Diva you speak the truth....and you just reminded me of an appointment I need to make.

Christin said...

This was an awesome post! ITs sad that in 2009, people are still out here living on the edge and opening their legs without protection. I even noticed in rap songs that objectify women that they are even mentioning putting on condoms. I don't know what it will take to make people more aware but I get tested every year for everything.
You were so right in that, its the scariest moment in your life, waiting on those test results. Whew!

Anonymous said...

if u THAT scared, protection or not, maybe you shouldn't be having sex. otherwise...shush if you confident in your protection-using skills. i'm not hating, i agree with the psa completely, i guess i'm just analyzing the scared feelings. it's like why even take the risk if you are terrified of that 1% in the aftermath? terrified feelings after the fact are completely useless, especially if you've used all contraception options because it's just something you're not in control of so you just gotta own up to whatever the result in the end. ok I guess I just answered my question on why yall get terrified lol.

but i guess in the heat of the moment, who gives a mess of the aftermath huh. control yourself though! (best u can)

-non carrying std/aids/hiv/sti reader (abstinent for 2 years and a couple months..how? i'ono how the ef either..)

ps other diseases/infections can still be contracted even WITH condom use ie gonorrhea, chlamydia, hpv, herpes, and trichomoniasis so make sure you really know the dude/lady and inspect before you inject!!!

Morgan said...

Going and getting tested is a lot like going to the gym: hate doin it, but it feels great afterwards.

SO WORTH IT.

http://lifebetweenthesheets.blogspot.com/

Diva Style said...

From one diva to another, girl, I am with you on your perspective! It completely baffles me how people are so nonchalant about protecting themselves when they know that STDs are running rampant, especially in the DC area. I am adamant about using protection and testing. I just don't understand how one can devalue themselves by settling for anything less. Sex is good, but not that damn good!