Most people who are sexually active get tested on a regular basis. Well, responsible people who are sexually active get tested. It’s just good sense. My habit is to do so in September and March, every six months, using my birthday and half-birthday as the reminder to take care of business.
This year however, things have changed and made getting a simple HIV test a huge challenge. My preference is to go to my doctor, have blood drawn and test for everything, instead of going to the free clinic. If you’re going to get tested, may as well test for everything while we’re at it, right? So, the changes. The Affordable Care Act, which I’m no fan of, royally screwed me as I’m a multi-state resident. Though my main residence is New York, my insurance is based in Maryland, meaning non of my doctors in the city will accept BlueCross from Maryland. This was a big, unpleasant surprise I first discovered at the dermatologist. Now I know it costs $420 for an office visit. Not exactly sure where they came up with the title, Affordable Care Act…
Rambling, sorry about that. So, since I can’t go to the doctor of my preference and I’m not in Maryland regularly I thought why not try one of these at home tests. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work and I’m out fifty bucks. Stopping by the drug store, I picked up an OraQuick test, having done some online research on testing products, not that there’s a huge selection.
Compliments to the makers as it’s incredibly easy, though just as stressful as going to your doctor and waiting for the results. The results take only twenty minutes, but as with the doctor, you suddenly consider every negative option and are convinced you’re dying until the spit stick, much like a pregnancy test, shows one line and put you in the clean and clear zone.
The only part of the experience which was a little uncomfortable was the cashier at the drug store who more or less had eyes bugging out of her head while ringing me up. She was probably thinking, “Wow, how big a whore are you?” A valid question, but still, learn to control the judgement eyes.
If you can’t stomach the doctor’s office visit, are being punished by your insurance, or just want a quick and private way to check your status, I give the at home test a big thumbs up.