Once upon a time there was a boy who got tested, and lived healthily ever after…and this chapter of his story began on bended knee, a teenage boy, all of new peach fuzz and fresh off his first couple encounters with the female gender prayed to God for just one more chance at life. Just a “I’ll never have sex again, God, if you let me get through this one time without being positive”…
The story I’m trying to tell you, is the story about the first time I took my HIV/AIDS test. I remember it like it was yesterday. My friends had previously given up their amnesty going to the free clinic and receiving an STD tests. So I decided, to follow suit.
I was all of 15 or 16 years of age at the time, and without a license, drove alone to the clinic that was strategically built a quarter of a mile away from my high school. I entered inside the doors, passed through the hall, my confidence was a bit shaken for two reasons: the first was me avoiding the embarrassment of being recognized in the clinic. Secondly and primarily it was the fact that the young lady I shared an interest in sexual bliss (even though I didn’t know as much as I thought I did) we also shared a passionate ignorance of not wearing any protection or prophylactics.
The doctor asked: “Are you sexually active?” (Obviously) “When was the last time you had unprotected sex?” The doctor looked at me as if she just wanted me just tell her the truth, even though she could see the truth through me.
Lie? Nope! I couldn’t so I told the doctor the truth.”Last weekend”. After all, its my health right? So, after my bouts with cotton swabs and some huge needle, I walked out of the clinic with my fractured sense of invincibility and them saying. “Contact you in a week or two.” But what I heard was “When you can’t take waiting no longer, is when we’ll call to let you know”
A few weeks past, and after some time I wasn’t anxious, and to tell you the truth, I probably suppressed any memory of me taking an HIV test. I hear my mother, who was on phone gossiping about the latest no-new-neighborhood-news, click over phone lines. She called me in the living room, “there’s someone on the phone for you from the clinic”. She looked at me with a smirk, just to amuse me.
I grab the phone nervously and they simply tell me, “We have your results here at the clinic.” And even though, I wanted them to just tell me over the phone, I knew the right thing to do was to head over to the clinic. Now the entire drive back to the clinic, I was saying prayers like “God, please, I’ll do anything not have HIV, I’ll give up sex, I won’t curse anymore, just basketball and my Bible. I’m sorry God”. I was so scared that night of unprotected lust would’ve been the catalyst to prescription pills and infection. But once I arrived, and sat down…I read my results. And as I was reading the word “negative”, I gained back all my confidence and walked out happy-healthy ever after. Shaking hands with everyone who worked there. Hell, I think if I would’ve seen anyone I knew, I would’ve told them my good fortune.
Now ask me if I kept my promise to God & unfortunately I would tell you “no” but if you ask me do I get tested twice a year and the answer would be “yes”.
Even though its World AIDS Day, you should get tested regardless…
***written while riding to somebody’s job on a blackberry***