I remember the first time I got tested for HIV.I was in college and my Dad had me doing my life insurance policy because its cheap if you get it young. Well anyone who has ever done anything dealing with life insurance knows that they test you for everything and ask you all types of invasive questions and will deny you for any reason. The nurse drawing my blood gave me a list of things I was being tested for and asked if I wanted the a results of my blood work sent in the mail I said sure. I never looked at the list because in this folder full of papers and I was irritated that she could not find my vein so she stuck me in three places. After my mini physical I went to class left the folder on my desk. Two weeks later I get a strange piece of mail, it was my test results. To keep the results confidential the tested condition had corresponding codes on the sheet in the folder. As I’m reading the results without the corresponding list I see a big fat POSITIVE. My heart dropped and I vaguely remember that I stopped breathing. I rushed to my room and look for the folder. Im looking at this list of conditions the words seem foreign and I cant even think. I look at the results and to find the cryptic code and I look at the list and next to C17J it reads ANEMIA. Anemia, oh yeah I knew I was anemic but thats not going to kill me. With a sigh of relief I look through the list and there it is A3H8-HIV Negative.
Looking back on it the HIV test was forced on me the first time; you can’t opt out of the test when you’re trying to insure your life. But after the initial negative, it made including it into my yearly exam easier. I know that the virus can go undetected for years but that’s what it took for me to make it regular thing. The moral of the story is what will it take for you to get tested the first time, it only gets easier after that.