I remember the first AIDS test I ever took: it was right after I found out I was pregnant with MIB. We discussed how often I should make appointments, things I should start eating, supplements I needed to be ingesting, and tests I needed to take. After that first appointment was over, my doctor told me that I had to take a STD and an AIDS test.
I was like "wait...wha...AIDS? I don't have AIDS."
Of course I took the test and after the initial shock of hearing "AIDS test," I was pretty calm. There was always this liiiiiiitle whisper of "you just might have HIV," but for the most part I was confident that I was HIV-negative. Despite some of the chances that I took with MIB's dad (he claimed to be faithful to me and I really don't believe that he was...but that's another story) and another person I was involved with, I naively thought that they were safe and HIV/STD free.
It took a few weeks for me to get the results and I honestly forgot that I took the test after a few days and when I got the results I was nervous. I saw that it was from my doctor's office and I literally said "oh shit" when I got it. I opened it, read that all my tests were negative, and let out a big sigh.
I took chances with a couple (and I mean two when I say a couple...not a couple times 4) of men that I was involved with by not always wearing condoms or by being a little too trusting when they said they were wearing one. And luckily I've never had an STD, warts, or (obviously) HIV. But that test and the possibility of being HIV positive was enough to get my mind and sex life (well lack of a sex life now lol) right.
I have a child now. Someone I want to see grow into a woman, go to college or start her own business, have children...I want to see and experience her life with her as much and for as long as I can. And I know that there are drugs that can prolong one's life with HIV but I don't want to have to do that. I'm just going to be honest. I don't want to think that the next cold that I have could be the one that does me in. Or possibly infecting someone else because I don't know that I have it or there's an accident with a cut or open wound.
I do not have a phobia of people with HIV/AIDS. I am not scared of folks with HIV/AIDS. I am scared of the fact that so many people are dying from it. I am scared of the fact that so many girls allow themselves to be fooled that their partner is negative. I am scared that there are some men that are lying about possibly having it. I am scared of the fact that so many people period don't get tested. I am scared of the fact that folks just don't know...
And speaking of not knowing...I didn't know that there were other HIV/AIDS awareness days: for the elderly, Asians, African Americans, women and girls. This is something new to me and is something that help us be continuously be aware, safe, and educated on AIDS and HIV. Hopefully you take this day to start your education on HIV and AIDS and take steps to further your education throughout the year instead of just on December 1st. I am.
WorldAidsDay.org - December 1st
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - February 7th
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - March 10th
National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - March 20th
HIV Vaccine Awareness Day - May 18th
Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - June 8th
National HIV Testing Day - June 27th
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day - September 18th
National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - September 27th
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day - October 15th