Newest Review: ... that I was HIV positive. I wasn't, I was given a bag of free condoms and that was that and vowed celibacy to myself for the rest of my ... more
The HIV Test
HIV/AIDS in General
Member Name: xxfoxyredxx
HIV/AIDS in General
Date: 15/11/11, updated on 28/11/11 (84 review reads)
Advantages: You know the truth, its completely confidential even to your Doctor and insurance
Disadvantages: My 1 hour test costs the £10.00 a time so isn't widely available, you may not get result you want
Before I get stuck into writing this review I want to explain why I'm popping it here. I did ask Dooyoo to add a link for HIV/AIDS testing but was told to write it here. So my review is about the test itself and how important it is to have it done really!
Known to be a sexually transmitted disease in the main (oral, vaginal or anal) this of course can be passed on through blood transfusions as well as in intravenous drug taking and is an infection/disease passed on through bodily fluids and is still a killer though people are living longer with HIV now thanks to drugs that are now available. With drugs available now there is still no cure for it of course but I was talking to someone from the Terrence Higgins Trust just last night and was told by an expert in this field that although there is no cure anywhere on the horizon (in her opinion) they are noticing a change in HIV and that it is becoming less infectious in some people which means in a hundred or so years it could simply disappear. Whatever though right now the only way to protect yourself is with safe sex.
I had a HIV test in my youth. I wouldn't say I was promiscuous and was fully aware why I should have safe sex but when I was younger and drinking I was silly and made a couple mistakes that I bitterly regretted afterwards. I had the test done for peace of mind at an NHS Clinic which involved a blood sample being taken from my arm and having to go back a week or so later for the results which was the scariest week of my life and in that time I had convinced myself that I was HIV positive. I wasn't, I was given a bag of free condoms and that was that and vowed celibacy to myself for the rest of my days!
Moving on to the past year. I'm older (37) and was in a mognominious relationship for 3 years. I loved and adored my man and stopped using condoms. I felt in my mind he would be safe and we wanted to get married and stuff and so to me it was almost a risk worth taking. I wanted children and he was my world. However we split up and I was left devastated by it. I went off the rails drinking and allsorts and met a handsome friends brother, younger than me and with a bad reputation for the ladies. When we ended up getting it on I really should of thought safety first but didn't four or five times and only afterwards when I found out via friends that he was sleeping with half the town (apparently even a guy!) I was frantic....and I stayed frantic for three months. I was so scared I told to no one about it and felt such an idiot.
I waited the three month period once again to be tested as we are meant to to get the most accurate reading possible then and called up my local clinic. I could go for the HIV test that night as they held a drop in service however my results would take up to three weeks to arrive back! I was in such a state I left it and worried a couple more days before getting back to the drawing board.
I then got on google and found drop in centres that offered a one hour testing service for free. My most local was Terrence Higgins Trust in Bristol which I and a friend went to last night.
Whether you go to an NHS Clinic or a centre like the Terrence Higgins Trust the process is pretty much the same. You fill in a general form stating your name, address and stuff like that which is very simple and not invasive at all. You then have to see a counselor who asks you questions about your sexual history and why you are there and explains the test to you and what it means. The test I had isn't actually available at most NHS Trust clinics and is different because of the money and funds available. NHS still do the test via pricking you and making you wait for your results. Private and more funded places like the Terrence Higgins Trust use plastic strips and no labs are involved and although I was told that the test took an hour it actually doesn't. The test itself takes 20 minutes but of course before that you have it you have to fill in a form in and see a nurse/counselor first. The test I had done involved my finger being pricked via like a diabetic pricking machine thing that didn't hurt me at all and my blood going on the bottom of a strip and I was told before hand that it was a test of two parts and not only to find HIV in my blood but also to see if there was any odd blood cells about as well which could become HIV too. Yes I had an anxious 20 minutes wait as did my mate but we were happy to be negative when we came out I can tell you lol!
First off I want to give a big thank you to the Terrence Higgins Trust for doing my test. I wouldn't go through the NHS if I needed anything like this done again purely because of the waiting times and harder process of having a needle shoved into me to get blood. The Terrence Higgins Trust team were so friendly, none judge-mental and there were alot of people in there all waiting for the same thing to be done as we were. The lady who counseled me and did my blood was wonderful and although some of my questions before having the test done were slightly embarrassing (Have you engaged in anal sex and the likes!) you can at any time refuse to answer a question and me I was full and Frank (like I am writing my reviews actually) and not once felt judged at all. I got free condoms and plenty of them, offered a full sexual health screen and was told about drug treatment they can give you if you have unprotected sex with someone within 72 hours and if you think you may have put yourself at risk that is meant to make sure (like the morning after pill) you don't get the infection/disease which is meant to be highly effective and proven.
Sometimes we all make mistakes. Sometimes we're cheated on through no fault of our own or raped. Getting drugs for this infection/disease is a must and the sooner the better. As soon as condoms come off it doesn't matter if your gay, straight, pregnant..... you are not immune and you don't have to be sleeping with someone promiscuous or be promiscuous yourself to catch anything at all sexually. Using condoms when having sex is the only way to protect yourself and even then things can go wrong. If your worried then my advice is to get tested and another thing. With the strip test I had done you don't have to wait 3 months anymore to get an accurate result, with these its only a month and I do recommend having it done with the Terrence Higgins Trust more than anywhere else!
Summary: I believe in knowing the truth! Get them condoms on people!