Posts tagged ‘HIV’

Baby, let’s get tested

…before we get busy.

Prior to dating my current partner, I was in an almost 2 year relationship with someone else. One afternoon when we first started dating, my then-boyfriend asked me if I had recently gotten tested.

At first I got scared. Oh no, I thought. Is he going to tell me he has something? I didn’t want to be rude and ask him the very question I was thinking. I also knew that he was asking for the safety of both of us, and I admired him for that. This was my first relationship after college and while I had gotten tested while in college and also a year prior to us dating, I had never had a significant other ask me if I wanted to get tested together, or at all for that matter.

I let him know when I was last tested. That’s when he said, “I just got tested last week and I wanted to let you know that my results all came back negative.” He even showed me the papers to prove it. For him, getting tested was a good habit, one that he took seriously.  He took my hand and told me that if I was umcomfortable going by myself then he’d go with me. I agreed and the next week, we headed to the clinic.

We actually made a date out of it sorta, which put me at ease since it cut down on my stressing out about what the results would be. As is the case with many people who get tested, you sometimes become nervous right before getting the results. I have always protected myself no matter what, but yet and still I was still racking my brain trying to rememebr if there was any situation that would make me worry that my HIV test would come back positive.

We were in and out of the clinic in an hour if that long, so to take my mind off of my jumpy nerves we ended up spending the whole day together–going out for breakfast, window shopping at the mall. I received my results the following week, all of which came back negative.

I tell this story to let people know that getting tested with your partner isn’t nearly as scary as it seems. If anything, it taught me about trust, and about the power of monogamy. It helped me bond with my partner in a way I hadn’t before.

I absolutely think everyone should take the time to get tested whether they are coupled up or not. But hopefully, getting tested together becomes more of the rule and not the exception, and that more couples catch on to it as a good habit.

If you love them, get tested together. If you like them–or even if you like them like them–get tested together.

Play safe out there, folks.

It’s World AIDS Day

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you’d know that today is World AIDS Day. I decided to try something this time and do a short series of posts talking about my experiences with protecting myself, getting tested, and losing people I care about to the disease.

The next two posts will be dedicated to Damon Eskridge, a family friend of mine who shared his story about living with HIV to me and other young people years ago at my church back home in Los Angeles. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I talked about how Damon influenced me and informed what I know about HIV and AIDS along with other STD’s. Damon passed away in December 2000 after a long battle with AIDS.

I am remembering Damon today as I write these next few posts. Thank you, Damon for sharing your story and your light. You are loved and missed.

For those of you in DC and wanting to get tested for HIV today call 202.442.9152 to find the nearest testing location.

Those of you tweeting on twitter about World Aids Day, the official hashtag for world AIDS day is #WAD09.

Shout out to the Red Pump Project, who raise awareness about HIV and AIDS 365 days a year.

BET actually does it right and remembers Black celebrities we’ve lost to AIDS.

Lastly, did you know that trans women are most impacted by AIDS? Get familiar. Many times we forget that more than Black cisgendered women* are trans women who are the most impacted by the disease and yet served the least…because trans women are often rendered invisible by the status quo. Some food for thought.