Given I've now been in a monogamous relationship for moocho moons, and given the short interval between my last HIV test (with a test result of negative) and my beginning to date He Who Is Here Now was not marked by any bouts of particularly risky sexual escapades, it is remarkable to me the nervousness that a damn HIV test still produced in my chicken little heart; the giddiness the negative result brought.
Remarkably there is no longer that agonizing two to three week wait for test results (at least at Toronto's Hassle Free Clinic--and soon 21 other clinic testing sites in Ontario) as one has the choice of the rapid test. Between having my finger pricked and being presented the test indicator with its negative announcing single blue dot (two blue dots equals a positive result; which it has been said of the reversed language of such things many times by many people, isn't positive at all) was maybe five minutes. The counseling on risk (which now in Canada clearly includes admonishment about having the terminus, gulp, of oral sex actually being oral; and swallow, burp) took three times that long.
The questioning always includes one having to make a prediction as to the result ("What do you think the result will be?") and a prediction by the counselor ("Given what you've told us we can accept a negative result as being a real negative, and we should expect it to be a negative, given your reported risk level"). Yet, in any event I still did a little, nervous, mental chant in the couple of minutes while the counselor was off stirring the witch's brew to garner the blue dot or two--"one dot, please, one dot please, one dot please"--even though a positive result would almost certainly have had to have been immaculate transmission given the risk levels in that brief window of time before I became monogamous since my last test.
I'm a big emotional fan of monogamy (not so physiologically, perhaps :) but the relationship-trust rewards it brings aside, the reward of the safety from HIV worry is nothing short of a gift of tranquility. Now comes the decision about whether to toss the condoms in the relationship. As the counselor and I discussed, negotiated unprotected sex should be a grand honesty inducer ("Sorry honey I've cheated, we need to use condoms again"). Sadly, the incidences of people in "monogamous" relationships testing positive is now frequent enough in the clinic that it is noted to those like I who brought up the topic of negotiated unprotected sex in a monogamous relationship as something to seriously factor into the risk decision. My gawd, but just how cowardly and using-one's-dick-to-think can people get? I do hope that sounded as judgmental as I meant it to be. There's a little bit more at risk than some guilt when one cheats on a partner who has given up the protection of safe sex under the umbrella of trust and monogamy.... HIV/AIDS is fundamentally tragic enough when transmission is an accident or a lust filled lapse of judgement, but to wind up infecting someone who trusts you 'cause you can't first keep your dick in your pants and then can't tell the trusting person you've done so is just damn stupid.
Have been meaning to have the test since the three-months mark of He Who is Here Now moving in 17 months ago, just to be sure, in case your'e wondering why the test yesterday.