Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Positively Negative

First task of this holiday has been completed... to get the irregular check-up of my HIV status. It's been nearly 3 years. Monday morning 9am there I was phoning for my appointment. I am proud to say my preventative measures (condomise, fooling around rather than penetrative sex, and knowing my partners' status...) have paid off and I am HIV Negative!!

Thank you to the crazy staff at the Sandown Clinic for the chats and damn painful free finger prick test. I arrived at 11h30 & was out by 12h30, knowing much more about "Me". They didn't really know what to do with me, as I am as trained as them to counsel people before and after HIV tests, and I even have the rapid tests in my cupboard. I just refuse to test myself, just in case that 95% certainty threw up the other worrying 5%.

Anyway, I always recommend that everyone goes to have the test done as often as you care to. Your local clinic should either offer free testing or be able to refer you. To those of you in the northern Jo'burg suburbs, I do highly recommend the Sandown Clinic. It is right next to The Michaelangelo (N.Mandela Square), which also the biggest irony I think SA has yet thrown to me. I was the only white patient in the tiny place. I suggest that you book, as you jump the very long confused queue. Plus they do not offer HIV testing 24/7, but on certain days at certain times. Their phone number is 011 883 7833.

Anyway, after clearing that up, it has been all lunches, dinners, happy hour 2-for-1-cocktails, while others sit in traffic on their way home....Good Times.


Revolving Credit said...

Glad to hear that things were as you thought!
Did they do a blood-acohol test while they were at it? Thats one test that most of us have a tough time with, especially when you have all that weekend residue booze in your system.

See ya in CPT!

fly said...

I go for a blood examination every 3 months...so every 6 months I normally have an HIV combined with that... :o)

Oh and the medi clinic's are pretty good at this as well...normally you can just jump the queue for the doctors and go str8 to the nurse....of course its not free but somehow I dont see Discovery complaining ;o)

Theres nothing like quite knowing that you are 100% truly safe...

Anonymous said...

its good to know somebody else out there thinks the finger prick is damn sore. I thought I was just being a big baby!

Champagne Heathen said...

Revolving, me and the counsellor did chat about my alcohol consumption. She asked how I think I could be safer. I said that I think I need to cut down on my drinking, which puts me in dodgy situations. She said, "Oh don't talk to me about that. I drank whiskey on Sat & Sun, and think I am still drunk this morning"....one of those modern cousellors then!

This time tomorrow & it will be all Table Mnt, chilly seas & winefarms for me....! See ya soon!

Champagne Heathen said...

Fly - it is a great feeling! Somehow, no matter if you know you have been virgin-like in your precautions, you still always have a mild subconscious stress. I am gonna do the 3 month follow-up test, just to close any window periods.

Gotta love Discovery & their "holistic health" ideas!

Champagne Heathen said...

Ha Dave! The pricking of my own finger is probably a more realistic idea of why I can't do the test on myself! I can barely give over my hand to the nurse, let alone accurately prang a bleeding hole into my finger. But bring on a serious pain & ailment & I am all eyes rolling "bring it on"... Crazy.

Anonymous said...

It is true that alcohol lowers your inhibitions to ridiculous standards.
I'm about to for a test too. Thanks for the recommendation.
Funny how even though you think you've got nothing to worry about you worry anyway. How long do you have to wait for results?

Champagne Heathen said...

Jam, if you go to a clinic and get a rapid test, you will get the results within a few minutes. They have to pre- and post-counsel you (which I always find is extremely beneficial & everyone I have sent for counselling has been hesitant before but is very happy with it afterwards) which means the whole procedure should take half an hour.

If you go to your doc and they draw blood to send off to be tested, then you will get the results the next day, and pay for the test.

Now you know...Good Luck & Enjoy the experience!

TwoFlower said...

i hate blood tests - the needles scare the crap out of me (yet i have three tatoos, go figure!?).

reading your post made me realise that its about high time i go for another testing...i've just gotta get over my fear of needles and whatnot! haha!

enjoy cape town!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Champs. Will do the clinic trawl...keeping in mind the appointment thing!
Incidentally, did you see the latest South Africa HIV / AIDS mortality report?
Scary stuff.