Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Dreaded Test

For every gay man, an HIV test is mandatory every six months. Today, I had an HIV antibody test. For me, as is the case for most, this experience was not anticipated. Instead, it was dreaded… deeply.

I have never had unprotected anal sex, but like many gay men, I have engaged in unprotected oral sex.

Whenever the test is administered, a fear swells within me that almost dissuades my decision to go through with the test but I know that it is better to know than to not know.

The reality exists that HIV infection is ravaging the gay and black communities at a rapid, unparalleled rate.

Every time I am intimate with a man, I assume that that man is indeed HIV positive. I am often accused of being overly negative and of being a fatalist, but for me and my life, this attitude has helped me through many difficult situations. Hoping for the best, but expecting the worse has lead to few disappointments.

The result came back negative, but I know that this process will occur again in six months. And I am certain that no unprotected sex will occur between now and then. With the way things are going now, it is very possible that no sex will occur at all. But I will still be fearful. I will still dread the test and wait in anticipation of the results.

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