I've been relatively careful...but there has been that ONE random time
Ok, so I am a 31 year old gay male who has been relatively careful in my sex life, but there has been that ONE random time, and that ONE time that a partner was less than faithful.
I have been sexually active since I was 15, never really knowing the risks until I was in my mid 20s, and never getting tested. Mostly out of fear.
Having made some friends that worked for THT for a number of years, I learned a lot and KNEW how important it was that I get tested, but for some reason I didn’t.
Possibly for the fact there is still the stigma attached to testing, and testing positive.
I have always had this nagging feeling that I was going to test positive, so I always talked myself out of testing, with things like “oh, well I haven’t lost any weight” and “I don’t get night sweats” etc, and I’m okay for a while.
This all changes when I see a HIV story-line, or gay couples about to have sex…I get really uncomfortable.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll google a symptom and convince yourself you’re going to die. The stress was too much: If I had a cold, or a cold-sore or a fever – Then and there, I convinced myself I was HIV+ – ‘I don’t need a doctor – I know!’
PLEASE DON’T DO THIS!!!
After hours and hours of research, I saw an ad for Biosure – I was reluctant because I didn’t know how reliable it would be, if it was accredited etc, then found the same link to the website on the THT (Terrence Higgins Trust) website – That was enough to convince me that it was trustworthy and accurate.
Since I placed my order, I was UTTERLY paranoid. The stress was getting to me, to the point where I felt physically sick – Talking myself out of taking the test even more with things like “well, I don’t think anyone I have slept with is positive, I’m probably not” – just the most ridiculous things.
The test came, I ran and sat down and had it placed out before the postman had even left my garden.
I performed the test, it was negative, and I cried…
I couldn’t stop shaking, and I am assuming it’s because I’d worked myself up so much, for so long. Double-checking even after the 15 mins (for about an hour after), just in case that second line appeared…it didn’t. I have now had the peace of mind I have needed for so long.
The fear I have experienced has been unbearable.
Looking back I should have tested more regularly, been safer, KNEW who I was sleeping with, but you do get caught up in the moment…
The home testing was definitely right for me, it let me do it in my own time, there was no pressure and I didn’t have to talk about it if I didn’t want to (that’s not an option for everyone, I only chose that route because I knew who to call if I DID need to talk about it).
My advice – Stay Safe!
Don’t guess – Take a test (stay away from google).
I would definitely recommend self-testing (if you are nervous about clinics and GPs etc). They are SO easy to use.
Although I didn’t want to go to a clinic myself initially, I know logically that they’re not there to judge – This is their job, their life – There probably isn’t anything they haven’t heard, seen or had to deal with – They deal with sexual health cases like we wash dishes, or eat and breathe. Try and bare that in mind. Something I will be considering more carefully next time. But home testing is more convenient.
I know I have rambled, and I’m sorry – But I haven’t been able to bring myself to tell a friend – So you’re now ALL my closest friends. Yay.
Thanks for reading.