It’s official, I’m still neg…

15 July 2012 | 5 Comments

I know some ofย  you don’t believe it when I say I’m neg, especially since I’m not genetically immune or resistant to HIV, but once again I tested neg yesterday…

hiv neg test result

I had been meaning to go get tested for a while. It felt like my last test was ages ago and when looked it up, it was last March. I usually try to get tested at least every 12 months – but life’s been busy lately. My bf was overdue for his test as well, so we went together. We actually tried to Callen-Lorde’s free drop in Saturday STD clinic two weeks ago, but by the time we got there all the testing slots were filled. So this week we got there “early” (45 minutes after they started) and even with getting there fairly early we took the last two HIV test slots – if we had come any later we wouldn’t have been able to get tested. So if you’re thinking of going, be there when they open their doors…

I got tested for all the other STDs as well. Will find out the results for those within a week.

Now if my finger would just stop hurting from where she drew blood…

Need A Free HIV Test In NYC?

29 March 2011 | 7 Comments

I had meant to get an HIV test back in early January, but then kept putting off the doctor’s appointment ’cause he wanted me to get an echocardiogram and I didn’t have time to go get it. And with not having much sex, I wasn’t getting STDs, so wasn’t going into the doc otherwise – so it got delayed. January would have been a year since my last test, and I like to get a test at least every year, so I was almost at 15 months and I was overdue for the test. I was about to put off the appointment again (’cause I still hadn’t gotten the echo), but figured I’d go in, if for no other reason to get an HIV test.

My doctor is at Callen Lorde – which started out many years ago as a community health clinic / STD clinic at the gay and lesbian community center. When I told him I wanted an HIV test he hesitated saying he didn’t know if they had a testing person on duty. I told him I really preferred if he did the test (’cause I hate rehashing everything the counselor du jour), but he said Callen Lorde only has HIV testing counselors do HIV tests. I made some comment about how that seemed silly since doctors should be just as able to do the test. He said that while he does a pretty good job telling people they’re poz, HIV testing counselors are the best people to deliver that news. But he also said that Callen Lorde receives funding from the City for the tests. The tests are free but the deal is that the City-funded counselor does all tests.

So if any of you are in NYC and want a VERY gay friendly place to get tested, call Callen Lorde for an appointment. It won’t cost you a dime and the counseling isn’t too intrusive or hostile to barebackers. Last time I got tested I sorta cut the counseling part short by saying I’ve been getting tested for 20 years and just wanted the test. This time, knowing counseling is part of their deal with the City of New York, I put up with the counseling, but did say things like “I’m comfortable with my level of risk” to shorten the discussion and get on with the test.

One thing I should mention is that the tests at Callen Lorde are confidential, but not anonymous. If you test poz they do report that to the State of New York (as required by law). The only place to get an anonymous test that isn’t reported is at a City-run testing clinic. But you can’t make an appointment and you’ll wait for HOURS for the test.

It was sorta funny – going into the test I wasn’t nervous. But the pin prick in my finger sent a shot of pain up through my arm (may have hit a nerve or something), and then I was pretty nervous for the 15 minutes I had to wait for the results. But the test came back negative. So to those of you who always seem to think I’m poz or will be poz at my next test… You’re wrong again.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, if you read this blog regularly (or spend much time on my bb forum site – Breeding Zone) you’ll know I’m a bit indifferent to guys becoming poz. But I am a huge advocate of getting tested and knowing your status. I urge all of you to get tested every 6 to 12 months and never let it go more than 2 years. You’re MUCH more likely to die of HIV if you don’t get treated within 2 years of being infected. Early detection and timely treatment is the key to living a long time with HIV. Don’t put it off – make an appointment for a test at Callen Lorde – it’s just 15 minutes of anxiety and it won’t cost you anything. They also have a drop in clinic on Saturday mornings – no appointment necessary.

Know your status!

Why I Haven’t Been Fucking Much Lately…

28 February 2010 | 14 Comments

My apologies for not updating the blog with stuff that’s been going on, but the truth of the matter is that not much has been going on – sexually at least… Life has been a bit crazy lately on a number of levels. Work has been busy on several fronts and I feel like I’m constantly behind on everything. On top of that my bf and I are about to embark on a HUGE project that’s going to consume a crazy amount of time for up to a year (those of you who know me know what that is). So this is just sorta early warning that I may not be fucking as much as I’d like… Life is like that sometimes. But the end result will hopefully be VERY good.

And in the middle of everything else I managed to get a pretty disruptive STD that’s made it so I couldn’t fuck (ethically at least). I noticed a little thing on my dick and then it spread to a few places on the head of my cock. I was scheduled to see the doctor the following Tuesday so I didn’t go into the Saturday drop-in clinic at Callen-Lorde. Then it turned out the appointment I thought was on Tuesday was actually on a Wednesday. Then a snowstorm came and they closed Callen-Lorde and canceled my appointment. So that meant a week delay getting treated. Then when I went in the doctor thought I had herpes, but then he called back saying I actually had syphilis. I got my shot for that the day after he called (in itself a long story that I won’t go into). Then it’s taken forever for my dick to heal and return to looking normal. I knew everything was safely killed, but it looked like shit. About the only type of hookup I could have done would have been a dark room pump-and-dump.

Oh yeah – I did finally get confirmation that I was negative for herpes (thank god!), but only after taking Valtrex for nearly two weeks (and paying a $70 copay for the shit).

So I haven’t been fucking much. I was thinking of hooking up this weekend, but between the big project and regular work, that just didn’t happen. I’m hoping to change that in the next day or two though so hopefully I’ll have more to tell you guys soon.

If you’ve been trying to hookup with me, that’s why I’ve been saying “can’t hookup for a few days”. I didn’t want to say anything until it was over and things were back to normal. But I’ll definitely be wanting to do some quick and easy fucks over the next week or so to make up for lost time.

And for the record, I think I managed to tell everyone who I could think of who might have been affected by my syphilis, and everyone who told me their results said they were neg. So I don’t seem to have passed it onto anyone (or at least not many people). But the point is STDs are a bitch but they’re also just sort of a fact of life for people who are sexually active. We need to be open and honest about them so people can get them treated and they don’t spread. Never be silent – always tell guys that they should get tested – otherwise you might wind up playing viral ping pong with them.

The other thing I’ve been thinking is that someone really needs to come up with a nicer name for syphilis. It sounds so horrible. Gonorrhea is called “The Clap” since there was a madame named “Mother Clap” who ran a whore house in the 1800s where guys kept getting Gonorrhea. And chlamydia is just a nice name to begin with. It sounds like a flower or something. I could totally envision someone saying they gave their boyfriend or girlfriend a dozen chlamydias for Valentines Day. Herpes sounds like a Greek hero… So syphilis really needs a cute nick name to put it on par with all the other STDs… Any suggestions?

UPDATE: It Gets Worse…

So someone showed up at my door today. She asked if I was [insert my name here]. I said yes. I asked who she was and she gave her name. She asked me to confirm my date of birth so she knew I was who I said I was. I asked her who she was and she repeated her name. I clarified that I wanted to know who she was with and she refused and said she couldn’t say that before I confirmed my date of birth. We had a bit of a Catch 22. I wasn’t giving out my birth date to a stranger and she wouldn’t explain myself unless I did. She had an envelope in her hand, so I took it and opened it and saw she was from the Department of Health. I knew why she was there so I let her in the apartment.

Since I had a positive test result DOH is required to follow up. I understand why the law exists but it’s incredibly invasive, completely frustrating, and felt like it took forever. I won’t go into every gory detail but, among other things she wanted details on everyone who I’d had sex with for months and months. I was evasive and said I didn’t know their contact details, but I also made it clear that I contacted everyone who I thought might be affected and that some of them had gotten tested and come back negative. She got the name of my boyfriend and obviously she knows his address. I told her we hadn’t had sex in a very long time but she kept going on and on about how he could have gotten it from touching me. I’m thinking if guys didn’t get it when I fucked them, what was the likelihood he got it even from touching my dick? Still, we’ll get him tested just in case. She even wanted him to get treated before the test results come back. That’s not going to happen…

At one point she told me I shouldn’t be having sex for 6 to 8 weeks which just didn’t sound right to me. I’ve never heard anything like that. So once she was gone I looked it up and she was, indeed, wrong. According to the CDC…

Persons who receive syphilis treatment must abstain from sexual contact with new partners until the syphilis sores are completely healed. [Source]

Which is exactly what I did… Needless to say, I trust the doctors and epidemiologists writing the CDC web site way more than I trust some lowly paid DOH employee with a shit job no one else wants. And guess what, even the web site of her own agency disagrees with her…

Don’t have sex until you … have been completely treated and all of your symptoms have disappeared [Source]

All in all she was just incredibly judgmental and rude – and she didn’t even have her facts straight. She kept reiterating that from now on I’ll test positive for syphilis as if that means I’ve got an active case of it. And the idea that my bf should get treatment even before he’s tested when he’s barely touched my dick (with his hand) is just completely over the top. I kept having to remind her that while I’d put up with her doing her legal obligations, I didn’t need her to stand there and pass judgment on me and lecture me. Then she wanted me to get my sex partners to go to the DOH clinic. AS IF I want to subject them to people like her. I told her I always suggest going to Callen-Lorde ’cause they’re gay friendly and non-judgmental. But it was like that wasn’t good enough for her.

I take these things pretty seriously and to be treated like I don’t is really aggravating. I’m not a leper – I just a regular guy who got an STD. It’s not like I’m trying to spread it or anything… Weeks before she came around, and hours after I found out, I contacted people I thought should know. That should make someone like her happy, but she couldn’t even muster up a positive word about that. Hopefully she believed me and the case is closed.

Looking back at it I think next time I’ll refuse to speak with them and say I’ll only speak with them if they send a gay man. I think a big part of what happened was homophobia on her part. A gay man would have handled the situation very differently. If the DOH comes knocking at your door, you might want to do the same thing…

Just for the hell of it, here’s a graph that shows the current “epidemic” she was telling me about. I find it fascinating that there was a huge spike around 1990 when everyone was using condoms and being very conscious of their sexual health. I also find it odd that I arrived right about that time and didn’t hear anything about it even though it’s the highest rate of infection in the past 70 years.

Syphilis in NYC 1940-2009

So yes, since barebacking has become popular (after 1996 when protease inhibitors came out), there’s been a rise in cases. Is it an “epidemic”? Well, historically, not so much though it is going up, but the rate it’s going up is pretty slow compared to other times it’s gone up.

One other interesting detail in the report is that most of the cases were men (which you can see above) and about 87% of the men were “MSMs” (Men who have Sex with Men). So the current rise in syphilis is a gay issue, but my guess is that that’s probably been true since at least the 70s.

How Often Do You Get An STD?

4 January 2010 | 19 Comments

IMPORTANT: This poll is only for guys who are sexually active with a bunch of different guys. If you don’t bareback or you’re generally monogamous, or you just don’t hookup much, DON’T FILL OUT THE POLL.

My 2010 is starting out with a leaky dick, so no sex for me for a bit. Callen-Lorde’s Saturday drop in clinic was closed for the holidays when I tried to go this weekend, but luckily I was able to get an appointment for today, so I’ll be back in the saddle by Wednesday or Thursday… Which seems sorta pointless since I know I’ll have to go back in a couple weeks to clean up what I catch at MAL. But that’s just how it goes…

But that made me wonder how common STDs are for those of us who bareback. Mind you, I managed to get HEP B years ago back when I was playing safe, so condoms aren’t totally effective, but they do help a bit. But I know for me I’ll get something when I go for weekends like IML or MAL (I can just count on it), and then I’ll probably get an STD 2-3 other times in the year depending on how much I fuck. So I’m at 3-4 times a year on average.

What’s your experience?

IMPORTANT: This poll is only for guys who are sexually active with a bunch of different guys. If you don’t bareback or you’re generally monogamous, or you just don’t hookup much, DON’T FILL OUT THE POLL.

UPDATE: So I went in and got meds to clean up whatever it is I’ve got. Also got an HIV test – and once again it was negative. The funny/frustrating part was how the HIV testing counselor kept trying to talk me into safe sex. Finally I just had to be abrupt and tell her I’ve been around the block, understand the risks and I’m fine with them. She got all weird after that, but I was just there for the test – not a lecture.

If You’re Poz, Get Tested For Hep C

1 November 2009 | 8 Comments

There seems to be an upswing in Hep C cases in poz guys in NYC…

Researchers in New York City are reporting their work uncovering a new epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) who have HIV infection. These authors have previously reported unusually rapid fibrosis progression due to new HCV in MSM who have HIV infection and now expand on their findings, demonstrating that sexual transmission rather than injection drug use is the route of infection. Treatment is highly successful if started early in the course of infection, however, they report ominous news about liver disease progression. “This epidemic represents a new clinical syndrome for HCV infection that turns much of our knowledge on its ear: a new risk group becoming infected through a previously rare route of transmission resulting in unprecedented progression of liver fibrosis,” (Source)

Previously Hep C was almost always transmitted through shared needles. Now they’re seeing a fair amount of Hep C passed through sexual contact. So detection and early treatment are important. What I don’t understand is why they’re not worried about sexual transmission among neg guys.

So when you go in for your routine tests, make sure you get tested for Hep C – it’s not just for drug addicts anymore. I’ve always heard Hep C can be worse than HIV – so don’t take this lightly.

UPDATE: Another piece of research has been released that says that fisting is one of the primary risk factors for Hep C in men who are already poz. Basically it’s blood, not semen, that’s doing the damage.

Yes, I’m Still Neg…

27 May 2009 | 11 Comments

I know there’s a certain percentage of you who are skeptical when I say I’m neg. But once again that is indeed the case. Verified again tonight when I went in for STD tests… While I haven’t been fucking much this year, there have been a few encounters that have been riskier than average that I haven’t fully discussed here on the blog. [I’m not talking about IML.] Not that I thought I was poz or anything, but this time I wasn’t quite as confident as usual.

Afterwards I washed down my STD meds with a pint of beer at Rawhide. There aren’t as many guys playing pool there as there were in the past and it’s not quite as easy to talk to people as it used to be. Weird how it’s changed. I was glad to see the bartender wasn’t mad at me after pissing on the guy in the bathroom last time. In fact he greeted me with a “glad to see your back”. And the best part of Rawhide this time was the “Raw Pride” sign haning near the door. ๐Ÿ˜‰




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