I want to write a bit about the things one needs to consider when you do not use protection (i.e. condoms) with strangers and/or one-time sex partners. This won’t be the sexiest of posts, but one I feel needs to be written.
Now, to start, you know I have sex with people whose names I do not know, whose sexual history is foreign to me and who I will never see again. I have gone to the glory holes a number of times (though not lately, sadly!) and have sucked strangers’ cocks. I have also had random sex with plenty of women throughout the years, too. I really want you to know that what I say pertains to me as well.
Fear of Testing
I beg of you NOT to be afraid of knowing the results. Fear is what keeps most people from testing. The “What If?” factor can ruin your health and the health of whomever you are having unprotected sex with.
JUST GET TESTED!
For most infections, including HIV, there are treatments, if not cures. The saying “Knowledge is Power” is absolutely correct. The more you know about your body, the better able to make decisions in the future. I am serious, if you are scared, even scared out of your wits what you might find out, EMAIL ME (Daphne@EnchantrixEmpire.com) and I will find resources for you to help you make your decisions.
I KNOW BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN THERE.
I am not preaching anything I do not know about first-hand. I would never say any of these things if I did not know what you might be feeling and fearing. I am here to tell you that it is scary, it can be awful to learn you have an infection (or 3), it can be terrifying figuring out a way to tell your spouse you have an infection… but you are not alone in this. I can help you find resources in your area to get you the supportive help you need so you can do your best to protect yourself and those around you.
If you have even one encounter of unprotected sex with a partner whose sexual history you do not know, you should get tested for, not only HIV, but also other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs – once called STDs, they are STIs now). I am tested every 6 months because I am sexually active, but not as much as I used to be. If I was as sexually active as even 10 years ago, I would be tested every 3 months.
(I can feel your stomach clenching from here. Breathe deep and stay with me. Feel my hand in yours?)
You do NOT have to go to your own doctor to be tested. You can be tested completely confidentially in any number of labs or centers. Google: “Where can I go to have STD testing?” (I know I just said they are STIs, but Google picks up more with “STD”). Look for places that do Confidential Testing, meaning they do take your name but do not tell anyone but the state for statistical purposes.
(I know that many of you said, “Fuck that then” right when I said that. I could have left that out, but I need you to trust me. I want you to know that I DO UNDERSTAND! And again, Knowledge is Power. If you take your health in your hands instead of leaving them to Fate’s, you will be way better off… and so will those around you. I know because I know that the bigger fear is infecting your partner and she finding out on her own because she has to be treated. So, instead of waiting for that day, just get tested, treated, tell her if you want or need to [if she needs to be tested herself] and then be strong and work with the outcome. You are still not alone. There are many services that will help you tell your partner if there is bad news.
If you are positive, the state does know who you are, but that is kept so private, no one can possibly find you. Even when they send the results to the Center for Disease Control, your name and any identifying information is stripped from the information.
Just like Confidential Testing, you can be Confidentially Treated as well. There are many places to go for treatment, including the local LGBTQ Center in your area. If you are worried about seeing someone you know, travel to the next town or across the city if you need to. BUT GET TREATED! HIV is no longer the death sentence it once was. I have friends who have been HIV Positive for over 20 years now. Medications are amazing! There are even immediate post-exposure medications you can take. (If you want more information on medications, I can steer you towards resources.)
The Choice is Yours
You are the one who ultimately decides whether to be tested or not. You are the one who chooses to be treated or not. To tell your partner/s or not. You are the one who has to live with the decisions, not me. But I want you INFORMED. You can take the information and make an informed decision… that is all I ask.
Resources for More Information
The CDC has a section specifically geared towards Gay, Bisexual and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) -straight cocksuckers, you have heard me call you.