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I got 99 problems but...

STD's aint one!

Hi all,

For anyone who is sexually active I cannot stress the importance of getting tested regularly. You never know what someone has lurking in their nether regions and could potentially pass on to you. Whether you're a one night stand kind of person, or in a committed long term relationship, get yourselves tested every three months to make sure your healthy.

I decided it was time for my first test. I had been sexually active for about a year, had been with around 6 guys and decided it was time. Also I was going to have a special holiday week with a guy and wanted to make sure I was clean (and so was he). Being in London there are a lot of clinics you can go to for tests. I decided I didn't want to just 'drop in' to a clinic and have to wait forever to see someone, so I decided to go to  a clinic at a hospital that allowed you to make appointments. They ran a special gay mens clinic one night a week which sounded perfect. I booked an appointment and went down.

I arrived and was greeted at the reception. They informed me to take a seat and wait to be called in. This system used number codes as patient ID and so you needed to remember your code as this is how they called you in for the screening and questioning. There were a few hot guys around, and I definitely saw the irony of meeting someone at a sexual health clinic so decided not to let my lustful eyes make contact! Theres a time and a place for meeting someone, this was not one of those times.

A short while later I got called in to see the nurse. He was handsome, toned and tall (which for me is great as guys are so short these days! Like seriously where have all my fellow tall gay guys gone?). He was Italian too (*swoon*). Anyway as this was my first time he went through things in detail. I recalled the people I had been with (was easy as the number was low and I have a great memory - unfortunate as I remembered a guy that I didn't want to remember). We got chatting about sexual health as he found out I am a pharmacist. He was actually enjoying talking to me, and accidentally hit the lever on his chair which made it go down. A laugh later I was taken to another room to have the HIV test done.

I waited for another nurse who came in and told me about the test. She was in training so I helped her through some procedures about using needles that she couldn't quite remember. She did the test and I was fascinated by the actual indication. I knew I was negative, but didn't expect the liquid to turn to a gel. I asked her why and she didn't know, but gave me the box to read. I figured out it was the way the ingredients in the test form a complex with the blood etc. So I was now educating her in medication and chemistry. After this I got taken to another room for an injection and was basically done.

As I waited for the injection I basically got my arm ready (I give flu jabs to patients all the time so know the procedure etc). The nurse came in saw I was ready and just did the jab. She did ask if I was comfortable with needles to which I instinctively replied 'oh yes I use them all the time.' She was taken aback (which is good as I don't look like a drug addict lol). I then explained about the flu jabs etc and she then started asking me pharmacy related questions. I only came in for a test and now I'm educating the nurses. After I was done, I left.

It was actually a really good experience. I got the all clear which was even better and had my fun week (more on that another time). I was expecting it to be embarrassing and it can be, but we are all adults and it shouldn't be embarrassing at all. People have sex. Its ok. So to anyone feeling anxious or scared of going I advise you to go. Believe me as a healthcare professional I know the importance of detecting things early.

Until next time. Stay safe and get tested if you haven't in the last three months.



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