‘If your results are positive, we’ll call you within one to two weeks. If not, you won’t be contacted,” the doctor told me before she took a sample of my blood. I wondered how on earth I could go the next couple of weeks not knowing whether I was sexually healthy.
But I’d never known. I was aware that if you’re sexually active you’re supposed to get regular Sexually Transmitted Infection tests, and like many I’d been meaning to get one for a long time. I’m a gay man, so I’m at high risk for STIs such as gonorrhoea, syphilis and the big one – Human Immunodeficiency Virus. But I’d kept making excuses.
“It hurts,” someone told me once although how exactly it would, I wasn’t sure.
“If you’re HIV-positive, they have to tell your employer,” I remembered somebody else saying. A simple Google search would have taught me not to listen to these claims, but I think part of me wanted to listen. It meant I didn’t have to face up to the possibility that I might have HIV.
I saw the advertisement on my Facebook newsfeed that morning. “Free STI test”, it said. Walk-in. No appointment necessary. I’m a journalism student and I wanted to do the test as research for my thesis on the gay blood ban, a closely related issue. But now that I was contemplating actually going, it suddenly became personal. I’d had very few sexual partners, but working on my thesis had made me begin to question my own sexual health.
Then there were the figures. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) routinely releases reports on the number of new cases of HIV and other STIs in Ireland. The most recent quarterly report showed that between July and September 2012, 50.5 per cent of the 91 diagnoses of HIV were found in men who have sex with men; 47 per cent of those were diagnosed at a late stage. If you become infected with HIV, the earlier you start treatment could be the difference between living a normal life and living a short one. So even if I had HIV, I realised I was better off knowing it.
I arrived at the private clinic to find a group of people waiting at a bus stop directly outside, and wondered if they were watching me as I approached the entrance. As I buzzed the intercom I averted my gaze from the engraved metal sign on the wall. Maybe if I pretended I wasn’t going for an STI test, my onlookers would play along.
I stepped into a modest reception hall and told the woman behind the small pane of Plexiglas that I was here for “one of those” while awkwardly gesturing at an advertisement I recognised from my newsfeed. She asked for my first name and phone number, gave me a piece of laminated paper with the number “10” on it and directed me downstairs to a dated canteen.
As I sat down at one of the mismatched tables I sensed a definite self-consciousness from the eight or nine people in here. Most avoided eye contact as they stared into their magazines and mobiles; a few others exchanged guilty glances with anyone who would return them, perhaps looking for some solidarity as they prepared themselves for an experience they had to be dreading as much as I was.
I waited more than two hours. Dr Fiona Lyons, consultant genitourinary physician at the Guide clinic at St James’s Hospital, says waiting times can vary depending on a number of factors, including the number of staff able to serve at the clinic on a particular day and whether or not walk-ins are allowed.
She points out that the Guide clinic, which is Ireland’s largest free public STI clinic, also offers a fast-track test where people who don’t think they are at immediate risk can shorten their waiting time by administering the test themselves. So why do people still choose the private option?
It might have been my small-town upbringing, but something told me to avoid getting tested at a hospital. Dr Lyons admits that “you could bump into any of your mates,” at St James’s, but says that a chlamydia screening in Ireland pilot study conducted last year found people living in urban areas aren’t so easily embarrassed, often preferring accessibility over anonymity. So it’s just a matter of preference.
My time came. I’d been waiting so long I’d didn’t feel much as the smiling woman escorted me upstairs to the surgery, which was really just an arbitrary room in this dilapidated inner-city building.
The doctor didn’t ask about my sexual history, but did ask if I was in a relationship, and whether they were male or female. Dr Lyons explains that this is so they can administer the right type of test; because I sleep with men, along with the blood test (for syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV) and urine test (for chlamydia and gonorrhoea), I gave throat and rectal swabs, also used to test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Afterwards I realised I needn’t have worried. Not only was it painless, but my results, negative or positive, would be kept confidential.
The only information blood clinics are obliged to share is data on new diagnoses of STIs; your personal information is kept safe. But I was still worried about my sexual health, and that worry stuck with me for the following fortnight.
When I ask Dr Lyons why the clinic only phones people whose results are positive, she says it’s a volume issue.
The Guide clinic alone tests more than 25,000 people every year, and it would take too long trying to contact every person who gets tested. She does say the clinic is working to solve this issue, perhaps by introducing a text messaging or online follow-up service.
I seemed to get an extraordinary number of calls from unknown numbers in the days following the test. Something dreadful landed in the pit of my stomach every time I picked up. The first time it was my bank. Phew. Another time it was my phone company. On one occasion I even got a call from a doctor, but it concerned a completely unrelated issue.
Eventually two weeks went by. I never did get a call from the clinic, but I was more aware of my sexual health than ever.
Mini Essay On Henry Vii
Do you I Need Help With My College Essay help with with essay, research paper, homework or even dissertation?
Visit our website - https://goo.gl/HKbmHS (assignmenthelp24.com)
sample mosl argument essay
swelled head crossword essay
750 words essay on united we stand wow
cover letter for someone re entering the workforce after retirement
do students have too much homework essay
sample cover letter for cv pdf
tips for starting college essay
essays on single parenting effects on kids
glinus oppositifolius descriptive essay
ocr computing gcse coursework
ntu coursework application
college essay writing prompts 2013 nba
thesis writing guide topics for essays
doctor accepts assignment
the armada portrait descriptive essay
mini getaway stockholm 2010 case study
march 2013 sat essay scoring
how to write an essay for the sat
wmic qfe list format for essay
thesis statement on divine providence
protect tiger essay in hindi
list of topics for research paper in information technology
nelson mandela biography essay template
what is the clincher in an essay
is particial abortion a good persuasive essay
scottsboro case essay help
human resources cover letter uk sample
les ordonnances de l'article 38 dissertation titles
india korea friendship yesterday today and tomorrow essay writing
essay wettbewerbe studenten
5 paragraph compare and contrast essay outline
collectability analysis essay
psychodynamic approach essay
vortrag powerpoint beispiel essay
short article on health is wealth essay
man made disasters in india essay
essay format 2000 words I Need Help With My College Essay equals
cultural profile essay ideas
building the brand a case study of troy university
sample speech essay pmr
michigan ross mba essays
good things happen to good personal statement
albert camus the rebel I Need Help With My College Essay an essay on man in revolt
case study 2004 athens olympics network
jatco jf011e descriptive essay
l's photo essay bravo viewtiful dvd shrink
international essay contest for college students
obesity in america thesis statement
critical thinking sample questions for nurses
do you agree or disagree essay topics
how to write a philosophy dissertation
essay on effects of divorce on the children
essay on eid day 2017
daylight savings satire essays
example essay about healthy diet
php variable reference assignment of mortgage
memorandum sample accounting cover letters
public health law and policy essays
thomas hardy the woodlanders analysis essay
essays I Need Help With My College Essay of eric schlossers fast food nation
cross case analysis dissertation proposal example
competition in sports essay introduction
l importance de la coutume en droit francais dissertation
good claim of value essay topics
dream party essay examples
essay place toronto
70-488 case study
essayons construction llc
dieffenbachia picta descriptive essay
business case analysis process essays
pollution of soil essay contest
clg link essay reddit soccer
ggn public school assignments logs
powerpoint assignment topics
melaina faranda bibliography
free online argument essay proofreader
naffine feminism essay
patagonia case study open book management important
100 yen sushi house case study solution of robin
gender equality discursive essay examples
andy warhol biography essay outline
what does action research dissertation proves
opinion piece example essay papers
use of propaganda in animal farm essay
how to write good essay about yourself
structuring an english essay gcse chemistry
hair stylist assistant cover letter examples
what person is a narrative essay written in chinese
texshop bibliography biber
robin collins teleological argument essay
ap lang rhetorical analysis essay rubric example
new england conservatory graduate application personal statement
creative nonfiction essay definition
essay in hindi on winter season fruits
sva film and video essay assignment
vyas legal essay competition
selfie mania essay
essay conclusion scaffold
times tables homework year 4 english
political I Need Help With My College Essay cartoons about school violence essay
energy crisis essay css background
neki kar dariya mein daal essay writing
warwick post module assignment for this menu
carsten jensen essay
a bus journey essay
critical thinking chinese I Need Help With My College Essay students studying
fin512 week 3 homework solution
essay charity poor people
math expressions 5th grade homework and remembering volume 2 answers
homework 1982 trailer
a rose for emily thesis essay
article about friendship essay example
whats a good hook for an essay
short essay on importance of hardwork in hindi
digitalisation of india essay topics
example of a hypothesis for a research paper
5 paragraph informational essay outline
music homework ideas for kindergarten
oxford brookes dissertation printing binding
sproglige virkemidler essay writing
the island athol fugard essays about life
edition essay expanded in philosophical psychology second soul spirit
essay prose paraphrase my last duchess
laboure nursing admissions essays
turn into a new leaf essay
dissertation problem definition
how to write a reflective essay creative writing
10 sat essay prompts examples
persuasive speech essay smoking
according to the essay by chris fumari
summary analysis response essay
alexander rodchenko artwork analysis essay
career focus essay
big dipper 1 lesson 8 homework
nature versus technology essay toefl
essay on my life at university of miami
911 custom essay service
myhomework student planner app
life aboard a slave ship essaytyper
reflections on american exceptionalism essays
ms 11 ignou assignment solved 2014 impala
essay on favourite bird parrot
the chimney sweeper essay topics
fbg 1 assignment 2012-13
how many sentences are in a 5 paragraph essay
ereigniskorrelierte potentiale dissertation topics
shakespeare merchant of venice essays
civil service room assignment december 6 2015 URL del sitio web:
Carrito de la Compra