You know when a one-night-stand who’s left town for good calls you, it’s not going to be a good morning. That was exactly what I was thinking when a man I had spent a lovely night with called me on my way to work, effectively turning an already grey London morning even greyer. After exchanging pleasantries (it’s England after all), he told me he had tested positive for an STI and I should get checked out. I was terrified. I had never had an STI before. I didn’t have any symptoms so I should be fine right? I tried to convince myself that maybe the infection had skipped me, my immune system was stronger than his and I always used condoms but there was that nagging feeling that maybe I was wrong. I needed to be sure. I called my GP and was told that I could only get an appointment by booking a week in advance.
A whole week!
Now that I had made up my mind, I couldn’t wait that long. A friend informed me that I could go to a men’s sexual health clinic. I was surprised to find out that the care was free. It’s a testament to how much effort the government has put into LGBT healthcare that such a clinic exists and it’s free. Compare with Nigeria where few or no clinics exists for LGBT and they may not receive antiretroviral drugs if they disclose their sexual orientation. I got tested, received a painful injection and was told to come back in a few days for the test results. When I got there for the second visit, I was told I had a gonorrheal throat infection. I didn’t take it well. I swore I’d never have sex again. After the counsellor recovered from a prolonged fit of the giggles, we talked and I calmed down somewhat. He also told me these infections were common and that healthcare centres had recorded rising rates of STIs among gay men and I needed to be careful. If condoms wouldn’t save me, maybe it was time to consider saving myself for marriage (this thought lasted all of 45 seconds before it was extinguished).
Then came the task of calling everyone I had been with to tell them to get tested as well. While I was advised by a friend that I didn’t need to, after all we are all responsible for our own health, I remembered that I had gotten checked out because someone did the right thing and called me. Not everyone was pleased to hear from me and understandably so. I was called a whore, a slag, and a few other choice names but at least my conscience was clear. I called my one-night-only acquaintance to thank him for calling me.
September 15, 2014 at 9:15 am
I remember having a one or two night stand with the same person, and rang him at one point to check if he had any STI (back then STD) because I was going on holiday. I think he was mildly amused. He said no. I think name-calling when you are making a serious call about a health check is unnecessary, to say the least. Wishing you a swift recovery, and your one-night stand was a thoughtful person.
September 15, 2014 at 9:41 am
That was bold of you. Love it 🙂
Thanks. I’m just glad I’ve received an antibiotic so hopefully that should be the end of it. Most of the name-calling came from someone I didn’t expect but I’m over it now.
September 15, 2014 at 11:26 am
Not really. I did quite lust after him so it was a bit of an excuse to get in touch. Since then, he’s bald, married with two kids, and his political views make me feel sick.
But the STI issue is a bit like wearing condoms. I read heterosexual novels where the men dutifully rip a condom out and plonk it on. I have no idea if that happens in real life now, but it never did in my single days.
September 16, 2014 at 6:26 am
It doesn’t happen with that many of my heterosexual friends either..
September 15, 2014 at 10:28 am
It amazes me how some people resort to petty behavior such as name calling. Didn’t they willingly consent to intimacy? If you are a whore, what does that make them? No saint, that’s for certain. Great job in following your instincts and contacting your former partners. Much love and naked hugs, my friend! 🙂
September 15, 2014 at 11:39 am
Good for you! In sure this must have been difficult but you should be proud knowing your conscience is in perfect working order!
September 16, 2014 at 6:24 am
September 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm
Oh DC, I feel for ya. It’s a terrible situation to go thru and you did the right thing, and then there’s those who for some reason, attempt to make themselves feel better by cutting you down..I just don’t get it. I would have welcomed a call.
September 16, 2014 at 6:25 am
Maybe that’s what it was for him. It’s no longer my problem and I’m happy about that 🙂