I think it is important for everyone to get tested! Who wouldn’t want to know their status?  Silly me, in spite of all of the sexual partners I had while I was “out there”, my husband was right about one thing: “I waltzed through life, with rose colored glasses”.

Even as I went through an 18 month drug rehab, I was totally oblivious to the choices I had made in the streets. Totally oblivious.   I recall a woman coming into our rehab, and the word which preceeded her, was that she had HIV! OMG! You mean, she was going to sit at the table with us and eat?! The people who worked in the kitchen made sure she had different utensils to eat with, (remember, this was about 23 yrs ago…folks didn’t really know anything about this disease)…and I glared at her from across the table *sucking my teeth*!

After rehab, we got married, I got pregnant (on my wedding night) and shortly after, my husband got sick and during his transitioning in the hospital, the doctor suggested that I get tested. I went in and gave my blood, and normally you had to wait two weeks for the results. The blood test they took, looked for something else (I believe the CD4 count), a few days later, I received the news over the phone.  Needless to say, I was fit to be tied.  Well actually, I was more numb than anything.  (Another story for another venue).  Bottom line, I eventually got over it.

Back in the 80’s and 90’s,  traditionally, you took a blood test and had to wait for TWO WEEKS, for the result.  Horrifying!  I experienced that side of it, when I had to get my son tested.  It was a stressful thing to go through.  Many people, after taking the test, and receiving their number, wouldn’t go back for the results, the stress was so unbearable.

Nowadays, you get swabbed…and in twenty minutes you know your status.  Still stress inducing, but at least you dont have to sit with it for weeks.  And IF you are positive, you can immediately begin to receive medical care.  You may not have to go on meds for a loooooooong time.  Or, like me…you may have to jump on medication right away.

I have heard folks say, they don’t have any risky behaviors…and that may be so, but the person you are sleeping with, who have they been with?  What’s that saying about sleeping with one person…really sleeping with about 50?

In any case, for whatever reason…without passing any judgement.  Everyone should get tested.  Just so you know 100%… You ever hear that song:  “99 and 1/2 just won’t do”?  Always that .1 percent that lingers in the back of your mind.

Enough about that:  Here are some places you can call to find places to go and get tested:

National HIV and STD Testing

 

Planned Parenthood

 

If you’re in the Philadelphia Area:

Philadelphia Fight

 

Bebashi – Transition to Hope

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