16 Feb Finally Got Tested For HIV…Orally
Love is in the air cause Valentine’s Day. I’ve always thought this is a very good time to raise awareness on issues around sexual and reproductive health. World Condom day is on the 13th of February, coincidence? I think not. Truth is, a lot of ‘love-making’ happens on the day of love. And most people, broke and otherwise, believe that sex is a gift. (Not sure where they got that from.)
Anyway, so I had time to kill and I decided to waste half my day at the Newstart Centre to get tested for HIV. I sat there for close to an hour and a half in the queue waiting for my turn. They really need to work on the time we spend in the waiting room. It gives people too much time to reconsider and back out of getting tested. Plus, it needs to be more convenient so as to not deter people from popping in more often and spontaneously. Small-houses get a tiny allocation of the day and she must be able to take ‘her’ man for a quick test. Fighting couples that want to have the test done must get it over with without sitting in tension before the test can be carried out. On the bright side, it gives you enough time to take stock of your sexual partners and to make right with your maker and confess your sins.
When I was like three people away from the counselor, they came in and told us that we have two options of how we would like to get tested. The first was the finger prick which uses blood and the second was to administer a self-test orally using your saliva. I was a little skeptical at first of the oral option, yes I am horrible at embracing change but she sold it with, “The oral test takes 20 minutes.” I was in! The blood option takes like 45 minutes to an hour.
We were led to another room where we watched a video on how to take the test. After the video, we were given packages and were allocated little cubicles to take the test in. I swabbed myself like a man that’s dead sure the child isn’t his during a paternity test. I had to be thorough. I assembled the test like in the video and waited for the 20 minutes to be up. I had to entertain myself somehow. So I looked up Fadzayi Mahere’s Facebook feud with the fanatics. I needed consolation. Nothing is more consoling than knowing that idiocy runs rampant. No disease is more fatal than stupidity. Nothing beats the stupidity in the comments on Fadzayi’s post.
15 minutes into the Facebook feud I got curious, so I took a peek at the result and I was glad when it said unto me I was clean. Not like a whistle cause those aren’t clean. More like clean as my bank account. I wanted to pack right there and then and submit my results and leave. And then it came to me, like an epiphany, what if the result changes last minute like a soccer match. I had to wait the full 20 minutes plus extra time just to be sure.
Twenty-eight minutes later, I was as clean as I thought. Confirming what I already knew was a relief.
The award for Girlfriend of the Year goes to me! Bae would be silly to want more than a clean bill of health for Valentine’s. (Clapping for myself!)