By Donte

Recently I got tested at my local health care provider (HCP) office. I took an HIV test. The feeling of getting tested and finding out that you’re HIV negative is a great experience, knowing that I’m not infected. But if I was to be HIV positive, it would still be nice to know that I’m still the same person. During the visit, the HCP explained to me about the confidentiality policy, which made me feel safe and protected. Then, they asked me brief questions about my recent sex partners. It made me feel a little uncomfortable that I might be judged by the number of sex partners I mentioned. I was then explained the procedure of what’s going to happen; it consisted of me getting a oral swab in my mouth against my gums and inner cheeks. I was then told I will receive my results in about 20 minutes. I was also asked to recall all my recent sex partners within the last 3 months. This is a important key to the testing, because if you are HIV positive they can also anonymously contact your recent partners to get tested. Meanwhile I was told a few statistics on the virus such as more people in New York are living with HIV but don’t know they are infected. After everything, I left the office with a smile knowing that I’m aware of how important safe sex is not only to me but everyone! Remember, HIV doesn’t have a face. Safe sex is great sex, always remember that!