I originally posted this in March, today seems appropriate to re-post.
"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?
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???
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.
(The fourth scary word is unrelated, another blog another time)