I was wondering if I should write this post, it is hard to write, it is scary to write but maybe someone can learn from my mistake. Dave and I are going for an HIV test this afternoon. I have been stupid, I have been careless, there is a 90% chance that I will be alright but there is also a 10% chance that my muddy thinking could end my life.
I have not been in a relationship of any kind for almost thirteen years, I was very, very careful in the past as I was terrified of getting aids. Dave has not been in a relationship for five years, his last boyfriend he said like to hide stuff from him and so Dave became tired of the game and ended it. So far Dave and I have engaged in what is called low risk behaviour, but we were not safe and low risk is still risk. Twice we got caught up in the moment and went a little farther than we should have without protection. My reality of this disease snapped back after talking to a friend of mine, he was happy that he had his final HIV test and everything was clear. His back ground is that he used to work in a hospital, was injured by a used needle and so had to go for an HIV test every year for ten years to be sure he was in the clear. That is just the danger of this virus, it can hide and it is out there. I remember watching an interview one time where the doctor said that actually it is often guys in relationships that get aids. He said the reason is once in a relationship, the men trust each other not realizing one man is carrying the virus. He said the one night stands often are careful because they know enough not to trust a stranger, these words are ringing in my ears right now.
I try to stay calm about it, Dave does not play around, it has been five years, his past boyfriend has never come back to say he is sick. Dave never gets sick and he sees a doctor once a year for a check-up, like I said so far we have been involved in low risk sexual contact but still, people do get aids like this all the time. I am angry with myself at the moment, more than likely it will be fine but still, why did I put myself in this situation, this is the time where one slip up will cost. I noticed we bloggers don't often like to talk about HIV, as if mentioning or reading about it will bring the virus on us. I also noticed in the past when another blog writer does mention it, often no one will respond, including myself. I think a little scare is probably good for us every now and again. Certainly if everything is alright and if in future this relationship does not last, then later I start another relationship, I will think twice so as not to go through this again. All I can do now is take the test, wait and then I will let you guys know the results. I don't want to scare anyone here, it is not that we think something is wrong, we just want to be sure we know our health before getting really hot and heavy. We just felt the test would be a good idea to start the relationship on.
As a side note, I have removed my picture. The reason is that Dave's friends and some family have met me. I don't feel it fair to him if someone should find my blog, it could also cause him trouble at his job. Also on my side of things, two friends have come close to finding it, there are some things written that may hurt some people so I took down the picture, if they stumble onto the blog, no one will know it is me. So don't worry, it is not that I suddenly want to go back into the closet, just that I don't want to make people I care about uncomfortable.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
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Good luck with the test, but just remember a positive diagnosis is VERY different today than what it used to be.
It will probably ok, but I will keep my thumbs crossed for you.
I think you should always have safe sex, even when you are in a steady relationship. At least that's what I have done all my life.
Steven, better save than sorry! It's a wise decission. I agree with Steve always have safe sex, why risk it.
funny how everything changes when you realize that the veils we THINK we have covering us suddenly start to fray...
There are a number of identifying features I should really take the time to purge from my blog, but somehow I never get around to it.
It's not like my fudging would fool anyone with a serious suspicion.
I'll keep my fingers crossed and keep you in my prayers about your test results.
I know what it is to have to have the HIV test. Even though the risk is small, it is still risk. You are wise to face the fear and get the test.
I spend each Tuesday at our local AIDS support center as a volunteer. I schedule appointments for those who wish to be tested. I am faced each week with frightened people who come in not knowing what they will hear. Most leave smiling with relief, but not all.
HIV/AIDS is not the death sentence that it used to be, but it is also not the "take a few pills" regimen that some believe. It will affect the quality of your life and probably shorten it by a few years. But as you know, it is avoidable with easily-adopted discipline. Make safer sex a part of your new life from the start and you will never have to worry like this again.
A word of warning to all readers, male and female: NEVER use condoms that contain N-9 (nonoxynol-9), a spermicide that abrades tissue, making it easier for viruses to invade. Some Trojan and Lifestyles brands still are manufactured with N-9. Read more here:
Hugs across the miles for you and Dave.
I remember getting my first test. I was a nervous wreck - more so for the what if factor than anything. I wish you and Dave the best of luck and will keep my fingers crossed for you both.
I think that Gay men should get HIV and STD tests on a regular basis 'cause really, you just never know. Whether you are in a relationship or not.
Don't beat yourself up about past sexual behavior. What is done, is done. Focus on what you can do now to protect yourself and your partner (and enjoy yourself!).
And contrary to what other people seem to suggest, being HIV+ sucks big time. Take it from me. Even if you are lucky enough to remain asymptomatic you sure won't be free from discrimination, especially from your fellow gay men.
It seems we have all been there. My first AIDS test was in college ('86) after a stranger told me that a guy I was kissing in the bar had AIDS. Yes, I know...a low risk there. Later found out I was told out of jealousy. But since that day, I remember the 800-number to call for any questions and the like (1-800-342-AIDS). And to be told I had to wait 6 months to be tested (based on tests given at the time) was nerve-wrecking. When I told the volunteer how nervous I was waiting for results, he said I should have called him for counseling. "That's what I'm here for."
Anyhoo......Long-winded and I'm sorry. But Steven you picked an important topic to blog about and thank you for having the courage to do so. And I so know what you mean about keeping yourself guarded. I've learned my lesson. And thank you to the other commenters.
Good luck with the test. And some good comments here as well.
Hi -- I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I know how nerve wracking the test can be. I always played safe while in the closet but decided to get the test after I came out and I took the 20 min test -- it was the longest 20 minuites of my life. I know how you feel. Thank you for bringing up a hugely relevant issue that we all need to be cognizant of at all times. Keep us posted and take care of yourself.
It is certainly a responsible move to get tested before taking your relationship to the next level. But, a negative result should not give you the false confidence to practice safe sex. How long have you known him? I don't mean to have you completely second guess your entire relationship...it is your first serious (already?) relationship with another man. You should still protect yourself. After all, it's cliched but true: "better safe than sorry." Of course I hope the best for you. I wouldn't wise HIV/AIDS on anyone, especially another gay man because of the stigma. However, it is comforting that you are broaching the subject that still somehow seems so taboo. And, congrats on the buddy relationship. Your bright eyes, toothy grin, and state of eternal optimism is very evident in your writing. Love is a beautiful thing. Cherish it, and be thankful for the life you're now living. Cheers, dude--Jax
wow, good luck man, I'm sure it will be fine though. I also agree with Steve up top.
Also, probably a smart move to take away the picture.
yikes, steven! i've "been there, done that" and thankfully have come away clean even though i later found out that some of the people i was intimate with continued their unsafe ways and are now living a life they wish they weren't.
but given the back history of yours and dave's situation, i'm sure you will be fine.
more importantly, i think it's great that you two have been open about having the tests done. that shows a great amount of self-respect and respect for one another.
and if there's one thing that will make a relationship better, it's respect for one another.
anyway, i'm sure you and dave will make better, informed decisions from here on, because it does sound like things are going quite well.
Good luck, honey! It is amazing what a good scare can teach us, huh?
I was in a monogamous (or so I thought) for 30 years, then I found out he was cheating on me. I asked if he was playing safe, he said no. Such pain and betrayal.
Obviously the relationship ended and we both moved on.
I was tested immediately. Having lost virtually all my friends in the 80s,I have seen enough of the dying and death.
I recently lost another friend and it's never easy.
Take care and I'll be praying for the best for you and yours.
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