Do It For Yourself
I honestly cannot remember ever being tested prior to attending Broward College. I used to be a student there and Broward House came to campus to do free HIV and STI testing. I didn't know much about testing, except basic sexual education class information from high school and they didn't provide much information or, places to go. At Broward College it was easy because they used to have huge signs throughout campus saying testing will be available on these days at this time. I saw the signs a couple of times before, deciding to get tested. I thought, why not?
They were at campus on a regular rotation of every three months or so, doing testing. Between classes, when I had enough time, I would stop by and get tested. At the time I was consistently tested. When I left college, I found it difficult to find information on places to get free testing. There is not a lot of advertising, except maybe on buses. Outside of that, it just seems kind of invisible. I had to do some research and found out that I don't live far from a Broward House location. Now, I make it a point to schedule the testing appointment and maintain consistency of every three months.
I just like the idea of knowing my status. As soon as I did the testing for the first time, they gave me this little card, that basically says you're HIV negative. I liked being able to keep that in my wallet all the time. I think generation and I, don't necessarily have too many conversations about what our status is, especially getting into relationships, or talking to our partners. I don't think that conversation comes up, at least in my life. I love the idea of being able to provide proof of my status. I like having an appointment scheduled to go ahead and know that I'm upholding my part in terms of keeping both myself and other people safe.
When getting tested, they are always super nice and make the testing really engaging. The process is quick. I hate finger pricks personally, so that is probably the worst part, but outside of that, it’s easy. I fill out paperwork when I'm sitting with the person doing the testing. They really want to make sure that I understand everything that's going on. During the testing they ask me some preliminary questions to get a rundown of what my risk factors are in terms of HIV and STI's. They then explain what tests they'll be doing as they are testing, and always tell me if I have any questions to feel free and stop them at any time. They have also helped me get in touch with more resources including a free bus pass, which helped me get to testing before I got a car. Getting tested definitely made a positive impact on my life. That's why I continue going back there for testing.
If you are hesitant about getting tested for absolutely any reason, there are so many free resources available that you may not know about, but are definitely accessible to you. In your area, you can find free testing and other resources you may need in order to promote a happy and healthy life. Before you even think about doing it for anyone else think about doing it for yourself.