Thursday, October 29, 2009

HIV Is Not FUN

I feel like it is every gay boy's rite of passage to, at some point, believe they are dying of AIDS. My coming of age came last week when I ran around campus thinking I was dying and said goodbye to everybody I've ever met.

On Monday morning, I brush my teeth, look in the mirror, and wonder if I should take my mom's advice and get a nose job. As I spit out the toothpaste, I find that there is blood in it. My first impulse is to try and remember if I bit my tongue in my sleep or if I tried to bite a hot guy's ass last night. I call my friend Tall Brunette J.Crew and this is how the conversation goes.

Me: Good morning. I am dying of AIDS.
Her: It's 2pm. Why do you say that.
Me: I am bleeding from my gums.
Her: Are you brushing too hard?
Me: No, it's aids.
Her: Or it's gingivitis...
Me: That is disgusting.

Later in the afternoon, I sit on my bed and use every bit of emotional strength I have to regret those two random hookups. Those freaks probably had AIDS and now I am dying.

The next day, I wake up with an intense fever, a sore throat, and a strange feeling of nausea everytime somebody mentions vaginas (the last symptom is not abnormal). But this occurrence, along with the bleeding gums is too much of a coincidence for me.

I walk to the health center and go straight to the front desk, demanding to know where the HIV testing lab is. Every head in the room immediately turns to look at me. Obviously, they've never met a gay whore before. I smile and wave. No pictures please.

Inside the lab, a 20-something African immigrant tells me he is going to administer my test. At least, I think that is what he said. I cannot understand a single word coming out of his mouth. I am not optimistic about this situation and I try to remember where the nearest emergency exit is. But before I know it, he is walking towards me with a needle and crazy eyes. I try to turn my head slightly so I can read the name embroidered on his breast pocket just in case a lawsuit become necessary in the future.

When I come back the next day, I do not need to ask the front desk where the HIV testing lab is. I proceed there on my own. People watching me assume I am a regular at the HIV testing lab. Obviously, they've never met a gay whore before. I smile and wave. I will be signing autographs later.

There is a new doctor in the lab. He motions for me to come in. He tells me to close the door. Which I immediately interpret as an indication that I am positive and dying. He tells me I am HIV negative. Which I immediately interpret as an indication that I am negative, but still dead on the inside.

As I leave the health center, I get a text from Tall Blonde Alcoholic, "Did you go to the health center yet? Are you alright?"

I suppose for the time being, I am.

9 comments:

Formysake said...

that's good news. I guess you and Tall Blonde Alcoholic are completely open with one another now...

goleftatthefork said...

FWIW - with 90%+ adherence to a prescriptive program, HIV viral load can be reduced to non-detectable and non-trasmittable levels, making it a chronic and very manageable disease. Contracting the virus need not be a death sentence for anyone - particularly someone with your sense of humor.

Random Thinker said...

you deserve a pat on the back... for going to get yourself tested...

and another one for sharing your results with someone else - even if its just a friend, it is good to have a support...

yet, i wanna slap you across the head for jumping to conclusions... and not going to the dentist!

floss some more, that might stop the bleeding too. just be careful though about what you ingest while you have sore gums.

TED said...

I'm sure you know this already, but if you really did have unprotected sex during those two random hookups (unlikely), and one or both of the guys was positive (also unlikely, but possible), you might not test positive for another three or even six months.

Also, I have at least three friends who always, always, always practiced safe sex and still got gingivitis. There is no justice in this world.

Aubriel said...

glad to hear you are ok! it's a scary feeling, i know i've been there before! it makes you not want to have sex again...for a few days.

Aek said...

o_O? Where did this come from? I'm glad your HIV-.

What happened next between you and TBA?

thomaski said...

I thought I had it once, but then I felt better and never got tested. Been putting it off for years... I used to be a whore, but not so much now (not through choice I must admit).

Good on you for getting tested though, I admire your, er, courage?

Dan said...

Glad you're okay and didn't waste any time getting tested.It's scary as hell!

jimbo said...

Good to hear. So what was causing the gums to bleed? Not flossing deeply between the teeth enough, or were you eating Frosted Flakes without milk again?

RE: goleftatthefork's comment -
Yeah, it's a manageable disease these days, but the long-term negative effects of the meds are only now being discovered. Continue to strive to keep it safe. A disease is still a disease, even if it's "manageable."

If you could keep yourself from getting diabetes (another manageable disease), would you try to avoid that too?