Open Thread: National HIV Testing Day.

Today is National HIV Testing Day.  How up-to-date is your status?

Tell us about the first (or last) time you were tested. Where’d you go? Were you worried? Did you bring a friend or partner along for moral support or to co-test?

We believe it’s important to keep the conversation about HIV prevention and survival current and at the forefront of our community, as a large number of new cases belong to African Americans. Although we account for about twelve percent of the U.S. population, we accounted for 48% of new AIDS diagnoses in 2009.

Let’s destigmatize testing by discussing it with thoughtfulness and candor. Post your comments below, and visit http://www.hivtest.org/ to find a testing site near you.

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slb (aka Stacia L. Brown) is a writer, mother, and college instructor in Baltimore, MD. Check her out here: http://stacialbrown.com and here: http://beyondbabymamas.com.

2 comments to Open Thread: National HIV Testing Day.

  • ladyjax

    The only time I was tested: probably somewhere around 1990 or 1991.

    I went to one of the satellite offices of the San Francisco Health Department near the Castro. I’d moved to California (more specifically moved back having been born in Carmel but grew up in New Jersey) and was living in the East Bay at the time.

    My then girlfriend had yet to move out from New York so it was me living with a friend in El Cerrito. I’d never had intercourse or any other sexual contact with men but in light of my brother’s death from AIDS in 1990, I decided to go get tested. There was scant information about women and AIDS, much less lesbians and AIDS, available beyond the vague warnings about women and ‘high risk behaviors’.

    I spent about a week wondering if my test would come back positive, if I’d been careful with people with whom I had had sex. I was lucky enough to have a number of friends who were at the forefront of the burgeoning safer sex movement so I had people I could talk to about my fears and risk factors. My test fortunately came back negative but I never tested for HIV again. I did become much more careful about who I was sleeping/hooking up with and it didn’t take a lot to ask about someone’s history as well as disclose my own.

    One thing about being in the some parts of lesbian community is that chances are you know someone who knows someone who slept with your ex so in many ways, you can back track some sexual history if you dig hard enough.

    However, I have had first hand experience with some nastiness that women can easily transmit to one another, and had to get myself to the doctor when an ex called and told me she had tested positive for Hepatitis C.

  • My friend who’s post is below, has inspired me to get tested for the first time. I’m going to go to the clinic this weekend. I’ve only been having sex for 4 months, with my current boyfriend. We’ve used protection each time so I’m not too nervous.

    http://sisterescape.blogspot.com/2011/06/check-yo-self-before-you-wreck-yo-self.html

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