When’s the last time you were tested for HIV?

by singlemomseeking on April 8, 2008

doctors-office.jpgIf I had it my way, I would have fallen into a loving, committed, long-term relationship a long time ago. I’d still but there now.

But I’m not.

I’ve always been monogamous. When my first boyfriend and I started to sleep together in high school, I insisted that we get tested for HIV. That insistence hasn’t changed. I’m all about safe sex — as a single mom, I’m especially absolute when it comes to getting a man’s health stats. Are you?

I’m an affectionate, all-over kind of woman — and, well, things have been heating up with the Biologist. We recently had “the talk,” and it was probably the easiest I’ve ever had. As you might know, these things can be a little awkward. I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about peanut allergies.

But it was a picnic: we were both composed and present. We simply spoke the plain, honest truth about our past relationships. We even talked about going to get tested together (mmm, what a turn on!), but due to our different health insurance policies, we decided to go solo. By chance, we got our blood drawn the same day.

P.S. Oh, we also agreed to get the full STD round-up, too… Ready to roll.

I know this can be a sensitive topic, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please log in anonymously if you want.

Tell me about your experiences re: “the talk.”

How do you bring up HIV and STDs? Have you ever gone with your guy/girl to get tested together?

Photo courtesy of LeoSynapse

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Crazy Computer Dad April 8, 2008 at 11:43 pm

When you get the full STD round up, make sure they do a blood test for Herpes. People can carry and shed the Herpes virus with no symptoms, no outbreaks, and no idea that they have it. Many times the outbreak area is not possible to be covered by a condom and contact will occur during sex. There are two blood tests I believe and I can’t remember which one is better. So many people have it that it is more like a national past time than a STD. Sex is a full contact endeavor, and even with a condom there is still plenty of contact and fluid exchange.

The first time I had this talk after my divorce was uncomfortable, but it hasn’t been since then. The women I have dated have been on the same page with this. If you haven’t been to the doctor in a while (um, like me) it can be a good time to get a full physical, etc.

Never occurred to me to get the tests done together. Assuming you mean the same clinic at the same time and not in the same room….

:-)

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Amy Nathan April 9, 2008 at 3:43 am

I was tested with each pregnancy, and then after I found out my ex was cheating. After that — condoms have been the order of the day — even with “the pill” as a backup.

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singlemomseeking April 9, 2008 at 8:29 am

Thanks for the additional info CCDad! You’re right.

Oh, yes, same clinic but separate rooms…. I just think it would be really sweet to talk out wearing little Band-aids in the same spot on your arms, and celebrating your maturity over a glass of wine afterwards?

I hear you Amy! Condoms are the order of the day over here, too…. with the Pill as a back up. I believe in always having a back up.

What does everyone say about back ups?

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Andie April 9, 2008 at 8:30 am

I have always insisted on a test with anyone I am about to sleep with. And I always got tested regularly. Since being married and only with one person for the last six years, I haven’t actually gotten tested, but pap smears are a regular. I think it’s just about responsibility and there is nothing wrong with saying it. Because hey, you never know where the other person has been and they don’t know where you have been.

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Dan April 9, 2008 at 10:41 am

This is just a cold sore…trust me.

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Dr. J April 9, 2008 at 11:31 am

Over the years I’ve been tested for H IV more or less annually because of daily contact with blood I had in my job. I had my fair share of HIV+ patients but worried less about them than those who were HIV+ and didn’t tell me or the ones that didn’t know themselves.

I did it for myself, obviously, but I did it for my patients and openly talked about it with them, and they were thankful.

Now, for the first time in 20 years, the reason is sex. I have yet to start to date after the divorce. Partially because of my two sons, and partially because I know that sooner or later it leads to sex. And sex scares me. It s c a r e s me.

When a relationship reaches the sex level, there is more commitment, and I’m just not ready for that (and wonder if I ever will be.)

But my fear of HIV and STD’s approaches paranoia. I have been out of dating for so long. I have no idea of the level of communication, openness, awareness is out there on the front line. And how accurate are media reports which typically sensationalize most things? I guess I’n not about to learn any time soon given my fear of dating.

I certainly would not be offended if the hypothetical potential sex partner were to approach the subject, and I would expect the hypothetical woman to be just as open. I would certainly hate to ruin the first date, but if I somehow have gotten to the first date, I would want to look forward to the second and subsequent dates.

As CCD aluded above, there’s more that one way to acquire STD’s, and it ain’t the drinking fountain or toilet seat. Oral and vaginal forms of herpes are basically the same organism as are oral and genital infections of HPV. Buccal muccosa and vaginal muccosa are identical tissues.

And don’t get me started on the CDC recommendation on HPV vaccination of 9-26 YO females with no vaccination of males.

Both my sons know all this, and I remind them often. Please, teach your chindren well.

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Crazy Computer Dad April 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Rachel,
You could donate a pint of blood while you are at it and get the most out of that glass of wine…Just plan for a taxi there and back…and too bad the results aren’t instantaneous as that could really change the mood too….

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singlemomseeking April 9, 2008 at 1:43 pm

CCDad: As soon as I wrote that wine bit, I thought, “That’s probably a terrible idea!”

Let’s change that to orange juice.. Folks, drinking alcohol after a blood test is NOT a good idea.

Dan: Can you please expand on the cold sores bit? Re: herpes?

Dr. J: I’ve been following the whole HPV vaccinate shebang, and I kept wondering why males weren’t being vaccinated, too.

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Katie Burke April 9, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Hi, Rachel! Thanks so much for your “return comment.” And yes, as a family law attorney, I’d be glad to talk with you sometime for your blog. Really loving your posts.

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ana.biosis April 10, 2008 at 5:19 am

whoever was right above about the herpes test. You need to get the test for HSV-1, HSV-2.

And kuddos to you for the HIV testing.

My brother passed away at the ripe old age of 28 from AIDS. I was 16, the summer headed into my junior year of highschool. He lived with us, in my old room (i moved into the master room of the house-long story) and I had the unfortunate experience of watching my brother wither away and die. He had an 8 year old daugther, who I think doesnt’ really remember him at all. Turning 28, and then 29 was espeically hard for me knowing, now, just how young he really was, and how I would die emotionally, if I knew I was leaving Doodlebug behind.

I get tested often. And I did alot when at the end stages with the ex. dirty cheating MFer.

Anyway, too emotional to write more (talking about my brother does that to me, sensitive subject), but very glad for you and happy that you are so proactive in your health.

xoxo~A

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Dan April 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm

“Dan: Can you please expand on the cold sores bit? Re: herpes?”

*chuckle* Yeah it’s an old joke regarding herpes…I think Chevy Chase or Robin Williams said it.

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Anon-a-mom April 11, 2008 at 1:22 pm

You know, sex wasn’t something I thought much about. Devout as I am to my faith the fact is it’s off limits if I’m following the rules. Unfortunately this left me lacking any preparedness for real life. I have had two partners since my divorce – one just a buddy and the current who I’m in a committed relationship with. Condoms were an absolute with the F-buddy. In the beginning condoms were a must with my current man with nuva ring as back up with both men. We had a few broken condoms – we must be rough on them I don’t know. After several experiences with the nuva ring falling out (twice during sex – one time I didn’t realize it had fallen out until 8 hours later – oh, and the condom broke that time too!!!) and I went in and got an IUD. At some point I realized I had WAY more faith in my current boyfriend’s faithfulness to me than I should ever have had in my ex husbands so, between the breakage issue and the new IUD, condoms fell by the wayside.
I honestly never really thought about HIV until I read this article… I know I don’t have it because I got tested after I caught my ex cheating but I’m thinking it would be a really good idea for my new man to be tested… and frankly I should probably get tested again!

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Judy April 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm

for this one I sadly admit that life’s a crap shoot

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