HIV - MY SELF-TEST
So we’ve all been there. We try to be the best gays we can and wrap it up before we slap it up every time – but the reality is that that doesn’t always happen. My (feeble) excuse was the amount of alcohol I’d consumed. I’d met a guy in a club, we got very drunk together, went back to mine, and the next morning I woke up with a terrible feeling of dread. We chatted, and it became obvious we’d had unprotected sex. This was almost six months ago, and the whole thing put me off sex completely, I was like a born again virgin.
I wanted to go get myself checked out, but I’m a bury my head in the sand type of guy. I didn’t fancy the though of other people knowing my business before I could process it myself. So eventually I took to google and looked up home test kits for HIV, I filled in the order form on the Biosure website and a few days later my test arrived.
It all looked very simple, there was a wee pricker to get a bit of blood, and a test device to drop the blood onto. I decided to discretely do the test in work. Although I didn’t want anyone knowing my business, I also wanted to have people around me should the result come back positive. I sat at my desk and told nobody what I was doing. I pricked my finger. I put the blood on the test strip. Then I waited. I waited for what felt like the longest, most intense nerve wrecking fifteen minutes of my life. I even faced the strip away from me so I couldn’t see the result until the full fifteen minutes had passed. During that time so many things came and went from my mind… What if I was HIV positive, how would that change my life and how I live it? What if the result came back negative, would it make me more aware not to make the same mistake again, would it be like a second chance? We all know that being HIV positive isn’t the prognosis it once was, but like with any illness, I don't think anybody really wants it.
Eventually the fifteen minutes were up. I looked around the office and everyone was busy working away at their computers or talking on the phone. I lifted my test strip and turned it round. As I looked at the result I didn’t feel dread or relief. I suppose I felt lucky, lucky that I’d been effectively been given a ‘get out of jail free’ card, my result was negative. I has been the kick up the arse I needed, it’s made me re-evaluate situations and how I live my life, and what I do with guys I meet.
I fully appreciate that doing a home test like this isn’t for everyone. For many many people it would be better for them to go to a professional, their doctor, the local gum clinic, or local LGBT charity like the Rainbow Project to get such a test done so that there are people on hand to advise and support them on the next step. For me though, I’d rather know what’s going on with my body, and then go find out how I should deal with treating it.
I got my home test from http://hivselftest.co.uk/pages/hiv-self-testing-kit-gni.