My first HIV test at a government lab

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To my amazement, the way I was received by the doctors prior to the actual testing was pretty welcoming. I found that they didn't ask for a name, but rather for a pseudonym and a birthdate to be my identity there. Then, I was sent to a counselor whose job was to give simple information about AIDS and HIV. The guy didn't show any signs of disrespect for the fact that I'm going to check if I have HIV, which was astonishing. I heard that until very recently AIDS was seen as such a tabboo even by doctors. And after the counseling session they gave me a few condoms and lubricants, and three booklets with information about AIDS, and then I went to have the test. I'll go get the results next Sunday, hopefully it'll be negative, wish me luck!! :-)

Oh, I also didn't pay a penny for any of that.

It was a very nice experience that I didn't expect to have at a government lab, and I'm happy my country is having a more liberal approach to sexually transmitted diseases and is actually propagating against the whole stigma that's associated with them, especially HIV and AIDS.

posted by Matthew Schauki at 6/23/2009 05:10:00 PM 10 comments

Egypt moving forward?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I've been hearing from people who work with UNAIDS in Egypt that we're moving forward as far as AIDS patients are concerned. As I mentioned years ago, there's now free AIDS medication and testing. There's also been talk that we're getting one step closer to gay rights here. A new book about to be published on July 1 discusses the dilemmas that the gay community faces in Egypt, so it seems that things are not as much of a tabboo as they used to be, following the openly gay characters in recent Egyptian movies. It seems like Egypt is trying to clean its dirty human/[sexual-]minority rights history now.

posted by Matthew Schauki at 6/21/2009 07:53:00 AM 3 comments