Ambitious Plans for HIV Testing in DC
You're on a metro train...there are about twenty other people with you in the car. Now consider this: if you're all DC residents, statistically, one of you is probably HIV positive. And, since we're throwing numbers around, there's about a 25 percent chance that person doesn't know it.
Next week, DC's HIV Administration will launch a campaign to get every 18-to-84-year old in the District tested for HIV by the end of the year. New testing technology is supposed to be able to make this possible but it also raises questions about how patients will be supported when testing gets faster and becomes routine. Before the new system kicks in, WAMU's Sidsel Overgaard went to get tested herself to find out more about the patient experience.
Listen to the report here: Windows Media, Real Audio
Some of you may not know this (or care to know it, actually), but John and I were having unprotected sex. At the time, we were both HIV negative, and I was clear about our relationship being monogamous. I felt comfortable with the decision. I felt safe.
That was then ... before I knew John was a cheating cheater who cheated cheatfully.
From what I've read, it seems that HIV can be detected anywhere from about 6 weeks to 6 months after exposure. I've marked the last time John and I had unprotected sex on my calendar (Friday, June 2). Six weeks will be July 14th; however, I'm thinking of waiting until the 3 month mark. Maybe I'm procrastinating. Or maybe I read something that 3 months gives you a more accurate result? I'm not sure.
Whenever I think about it, I start to panic. My palms get sweaty. My heart races. What if I'm infected? I'm *mostly* sure I'm not. But one never knows.
And listening to NPR this morning, when the nurse (or whatever) asked the reporter, "Are you ready for your results," I nearly started hyperventilating.
What's going to happen when the nurse is asking me that same question?