Preventive Services Task Force says everyone should get tested -- so I did
Here, besides my own results, are some of the things I learned from my visit to Denver Metro Health Clinic:
- The safest sex is abstinence, but since not everyone wants to do that, getting tested is the smartest and safest thing you can do.
- Some people don't like oral sex, and that's okay.
- The Gardasil vaccination for HPV is now available for men, but insurance companies only cover it if you are between the ages of 19 and 26.
- 80 percent of people either have or have had HPV. The body's immune system can usually beat it within two years.
- If you don't have insurance, the HPV vaccination requires three different shots ranging from $300 to $500 per shot.
- Hepatitis C testing is primarily for intravenous drug users, but that doesn't mean you should overlook it entirely.
- The HIV test is only relevant for partners outside of the past ninety days.
- A follow-up HIV test is $50.
- If you think something might be wrong, find out so you don't give the same fear to someone else down the road.
- It's okay to have consensual sex with anyone you want; just be safe about it.
- If you don't know if your partner is on birth control, don't run the gauntlet.
- Don't be stupid with sex. But smart, consexual sex is awesome: fun, exciting, intimate and explosively climactic.
- Phlebotomists, despite their job, are the kindest people on earth.