So, for the past five days, I was dying a little inside.
See, when I went in to find out whether or not I had HPV, I learned something very interesting: I had been misinformed about the accuracy of my previous HIV/AIDS testing.
You’d think that’s the sort of thing that medical professionals would know their shit about, but apparently not. Jesus Christ.
After the final sexual assault, once I realized that Oh My God I Can Get Away From This Person And This Might Be The Last Time That Happens To Me, I counted down the days until I could get accurately tested for HIV. I have a very, very intense phobia of transmissible diseases, intensified by the fact that along with the sexual assaults the generally fucked-up-ness of the situation meant that I ended up in direct contact with my rapist’s blood, in significant quantities, on multiple occasions. I should also mention that he also was fond of recreational drugs and has spent a large part of his life living in five separate foreign countries with varying degrees of medical care services available.
Three months to the day later, I took an HIV swab test in a local clinic and was proclaimed clean.
What they never told me is that the test isn’t actually as accurate as the published rate until six months.
I have put that in bold so that anyone else who was misguided about this won’t overlook it. Yeah, if the test was negative at three months then it’s more likely than not that you’re okay, but if you’re anything like me, that isn’t enough. So if you want actual closure, get tested twice: once at three months, once at six. I’m no microbiologist (my mother, however, is), but to explain it simply, getting tested any sooner than three months won’t work, because you probably won’t have enough antibodies for it to show up on a test.
Point being, they sent in a blood sample five days ago, and as of this morning I was given the final verdict:
HPV: No signs/symptoms (they won’t actually do a pap until I’m 21)
Herpes: Can’t be tested for it – I was exposed to one or both strains as a baby, so whether or not I have genital herpes the antibodies will show up regardless.
I am an incredibly lucky person.