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Taking the Test: What's Your Experience?

June 25, 2012


Becky Allen

Becky Allen, Site Manager,; New York City

My first HIV test actually came at my doctor's suggestion. I came in for my annual GYN appointment and my doc basically said without preamble, "OK, I'm going to test you for HIV, herpes, Chlamydia, syphilis, the works."

I had a moment of, "What exactly do you think I'm doing in my sex life to need all that?" And I should know better -- doctors should be doing the full run of tests, and suggesting them isn't judgment. (In fairness to me, I'd barely started working at when this happened, which was eye-opening for me in general. Hopefully I've quelled that internalized stigma a bit by now.)

(And bonus experience from that day -- I'd worked at just long enough to know you can do rapid oral HIV tests, which was what I figured she'd give me. I was extremely disappointed when she pulled out a needle instead, because owwwww.)

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