Monday, August 21, 2006


I went to the OB/GYN a month ago for my annual exam. In the last 6 months during all this kidney drama, doctors have drawn more of my blood than I'm sure was necessary. I doubt that I'm the carrier of any horrid sexually transmitted disease. But, all the same, a girl can never be too careful.

Back in college, our health center scared the crap out of me.

I went in for an annual check-up. They asked if they could test for HIV and AIDS. I said yes. Who doesn't say yes?

About a week later, I got a call that I should go to the clinic to meet with my Doctor about my results. I sat down a wrote a list (not-so-long, thank you very much) of everyone I'd ever done absolutely anything with… even kissing… I still had the Southern accent ya'll, just a tad naïve.

I waited for an hour to see someone. The nurse walked me back and sat me down in an office. I then waited for about 15 minutes. The Doc was a pretty woman in her mid-30s with those metabolism-slowing-down hips that come after child birth. Why do I remember this? Because it was complete hell. Complete hell. I hated that big hipped Doctor. Still do.

She looked at me, smiled, and then asked if I was Sam. Yes, I was Sam.

Then, she launched into a thirty minute preach about AIDS and safe sex and how many people have it that are my age and how one bad choice can take my young life away and that there are no immediate symptoms of AIDS in most cases and how living with AIDS isn't as hard as it seems and how medicine is getting better.

Okay, I thought to myself through tears, I have AIDS. Now, looking back, I'd know I didn't have AIDS. It was nearly impossible, though not completely- but I'll leave that to your imaginations. Regardless, I was 18. I had streaks of makeup down my cheeks.

I asked what I did now. She said she wasn't done.

I am still haunted by this part.

"Many students don't realize how the health services center on campus can help them practice safe sex. We can provide you with condoms. Many places can. You don't need to ever have sex without one. Do you use condoms when having sex, Sam?"

Remember, I went to Episcopalian private school for my entire life. My mother lectured on abstinence in the public schools. Sex and the City were not yet on the air. This was dirty talk to me.

"Uh, yeah. But I don't have sex that much. I don't know how I got AIDS."

I was crying hysterically.

"Oh, you don't have AIDS. Your test results were negative."

It was one of the worst days ever. Horrible. I think they were trying to scare students into safe sex. I guess. Honestly, it just scared me out of getting a test there the next year. I went to my OB/GYN in Bama instead. I did snag a couple free condoms though, while she was offering and all.

I've been tested every year since I was 16. Even before I was having sex. Just for practice, I guess. Usually the lab just calls and says that you're results were all negative. My new OB/ GYN in DC asked me if I wanted to be tested this year for AIDS, HIV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea… oh, and Syphilis, which according to my Doc, is making a come back. I giggled when she said that an STD was "making a come back", she giggled too when I explained that I was picturing Syphilis as Cher.

You hear within the week from your Doc if you've got something. I didn't hear from the Doc. Then, ordinarily, you hear within two weeks from the lab if you don't have anything. I didn't hear anything from the lab.

The clinic here does something really strange; they send you a letter from your Doc saying that you've got no diseases. I guess so you can show it to your partner. And, when you get the letter, you feel like your 12 and it's a report card with all A's. I showed it to APK… "Look, I'm disease free." I wonder if the Urology clinic does that too? Tehe, I can see the commercial for Trojan now-

Man: I'll show you mine {Naked, holding a piece of paper over his you-know-what] if you show me yours.

Narrator: Trojan. Tough enough to protect you against anything.


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