[ Article crossposted from soc.support.youth.gay-lesbian-bi ]
[ Author was Anonymous ]
[ Posted on Mon, 23 Jan 1995 05:14:22 -0500 (EST) ]
[ Moderator's notice: this post was fully anonymized by the moderator
before posting, on request of the original author. There is no way to
contact the original author directly. If you wish to send him a message,
please respond to this post in the newsgroup. -- Mike H
Last wednesday, I went to a nearby county clinic to get tested for HIV.
I decided to get tested because I thought I was at risk, and I needed
to know my fate.
I found out about the testing clinic from a GLBA 'handbook' at my school.
It said the clinic is open from 2 to 5 pm on Wednesdays, and it was last
wednesday. I went.
I parked my car behind the building, and walked into this very official
looking building. Government employees milled about in the lobby. I
pushed the button for the elevator, thinking "I should do this, it is
the right thing to do." I went up to the second floor and found the
I took a number. Number 9. AIDS and HIV posters were everywhere on the
walls, and other people were there. Scary people, but I knew I was
doing the right thing.
The room was institutional pastels and the chairs were uncomfortable.
I shifted my weight, and tried to think happy thoughts. A woman
periodically opened a door in one wall to call out numbers.
"Number Six!" she called.
Nope, not me. Number Six got up and walked through the door. I waited.
The loud piped-in music was cheesy and I hoped I could get done with this
My last blood test was for mono and strep after I was sick last christmas.
I passed out when they took out three vials of blood. I don't like needles.
"Number Seven!" the lady called out.
Nope, not me. Not yet. Number 6 returned through the door and sat back
More people entered, taking numbers. I felt sorry for the girl who got
number thirteen. I'm not superstitious or believe in luck, but I know how
much it means to some people.
"Number Nine!" and I walked in. A lady led me to a room and asked what I was
"I want to be tested for HIV." I said, leaning against a doctor's examination
She proceeded to convince me to get a syphillis test, and I agreed. They
can cure syphillis. I refused the other tests-- too painful. But what do
I know of pain? I've led the happy life, and with a few mistakes, I usually
learn my lesson.
"Is this anonymous?" I asked.
"Yes. We don't want your name, don't give us your name, we don't want to
know." she answered emphatically.
I was led back to the waiting room.
Other numbers were called, and some people I hadn't seen before emerged
through the door, done with their tests or received their results.
Some were smiling, others weren't. One girl hid her eyes behind her hair
as she walked out the door.
Have I been completely careful? No. I had vague recollections of a night
with my last boyfriend. He had always insisted on safe sex, but I don't
remember if we were safe. I don't think we were.
I walked back in, and was led to a different room. A different lady was
there with some paperwork.
"I have a few questions for you." she said, sternly.
What was her problem? She was very hostile. I wore an earring in my right
ear, could that be it? She works at a VD clinic and doesn't like gays?
"Sure." I said.
"Your name?" she asked.
What? "I thought this was anonymous." I choked.
"I need your name." she looked at me intently.
"I don't want to give my name."
"We need your name for these records." she demanded.
"Fine." So I made up a name. She wrote it down sternly, asking for a
"I don't have one." I said. My courage was growing again.
"Your phone number?" Again the stern intent look.
"I don't have a phone."
"Your _sexual_ preference?" This was it, I knew she wasn't friendly.
"Men. I am gay." I said, strongly.
She asked a few more questions, and I answered them honestly.
I was led back to the waiting room. There were more people now. One of them
looked familiar, a girl who went to my school.
I waited. It was almost 4pm now.
I walked back in, and met a new lady. She was in her forties, with hair
slowly turning to gray. She was very thin, almost anorexic. We were in
a tiny room, with AIDS posters everywhere, and a small chair for me, and
a simple table for herself. A large container with big bold warnings about
containing medical waste stood at one end of her table.
She looked at me like she saw something she didn't want to face.
The lady took out a syringe and an elastic strap, set them down next to
me. Her hands were shaking. She couldn't hide it.
She asked me a few questions, I signed a few things with my new name.
She explained what anonymous testing meant, and what the difference
between confidential and anonymous testing was. I nodded. The needle
glared at me.
In my head, I kept thinking, "This is the right thing to do, I know it is.
Just a few more minutes, and it'll all be over."
She then put on some heavy duty latex gloves, and cleaned my left elbow
with an alcohol pad. She tied the elastic strap around my arm.
I made a fist and looked away.
Don't faint don't faint don't faint.
I felt the prick of the needle, felt her moving it around looking for the
vein. My whole body got incredibly tense. I don't think I breathed.
I was a taut rope, and I felt light-headed.
'Don't faint! Breathe!' I thought to myself.
I forced myself to relax a little bit, to keep myself conscious.
"Is it almost done?"
"Almost. One more vial."
Some people say I'm bullshit, but I can feel the blood leaving me. My blood
pressure is pretty low, that must be it. My head got light.
"I usually faint about now." (What a great help I am!)
"We're almost done, just a little more..."
I didn't see the little dark spots whirling around, but they would come
soon, if this wasn't over.
My blood, which had an answer to my question, filled the last vial.
"It's done." And she put a bit of gauze on my elbow with a bandaid.
I breathed deeply. Steadied myself. I felt okay.
I looked down and saw two vials with deep red blood in them. On the vials
was my false name and a long number.
She handed me my card, with my contact number and we checked to make sure
the number was the same in all 5 places it appeared.
Her hands were shaking much more now. I pretended not to notice. I resisted
the urge to ask her why she was upset. I didn't want to know.
I got tested last wednesday, and I have two more days to wait.
I am young, scared, and afraid of death.
My boyfriend from last summer told me his previous ex died of AIDS.
I know I am at risk. My card with my number on it is staring at me.
It's so innocent, just another number. But my life depends on it.
I will return Wednesday, and I don't know what I'll do if I test positive.
P.S. This is an anonymous post, so I can't get any private email replies.
Just respond to the newsgroup like normal. I will read it.
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Subject: Re: Getting tested for HIV.
From: email@example.com (127 House)
While I can't agree that this is the real world, I will say it sure is a
scary fun house ride to have sex with bad people -- or good people, or
green howler monkeys if that's your short duration personal orgasmatron
-- then wonder if you got IT, get tested, then get tested again in six
months to make sure you did/didn't get IT. If you want to have the kind
of year old Onan did in 1994, well, GET TO _IT_.
I'm here in your home or office as a preacher and not a listener. Your
job is to listen to me now, that's what you've paid me to do through your
purchase of multiple copies of Revelation X and other SubGenius products
(which in turn pays me the dozens of dollars "Bob" promised me back in
1982!) So it doesn't really matter whether I got IT or not; what matters
is you going out and making sure you DO or DON'T have IT _very soon_.
You can make sure to get IT in any number of ways, I don't have to tell
you about that. I don't have to tell you about how not to get IT
either. I don't have to do anything. But I do, anyway -- I do things,
even though I don't have to. And isn't that getting something for
nothing? Isn't that what "Bob" has been promising all along? Real
slack, there for the taking, even in this least of real worlds? Just
think about it. Send in your dollar to "Bob," then send one to NENSLO,
then think about it, but do think about it.
Thinking about it all the time,
FAMOUS YOUNG OLD TIME SUBGENIUS PREACHER(TM)
127 House - Box 2321 - Portland OR 97208-2321 USA - firstname.lastname@example.org
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