“We should go get AIDS tests,” my boyfriend Mark said to me one night as he pulled off a condom. “Yeah, okay,” I said. Immediately I began to fear, what if I have AIDS? I was pretty sure Mark could count the number of sexual partners he’d had on one hand. I, on the other hand didn’t have enough digits between my fingers and toes to keep count. So if anyone in the relationship had a touch of “the hiv” it was definitely me. Besides, there’s the whole fact that I used to be a junky and while I had been tested since the last time I stuck a needle in my arm, I had slept with a couple of other ex-junkies since then and who knows what kinds of aidsy stuff was floating around in their bodily fluids. We picked New Years eve for our AIDS test “date”, that way we would start the year off right with a clean bill of health and some good old fashioned bare-backing, or the worst news ever and possibly never having sex again, depending on the results. “If we pass I’ll let you do me up the butt,” I said to Mark the morning of AIDS test. We went to get tested together at the Out of the Closet thrift store in Hollywood where they do free same day results AIDS testing.

A gay thrift store is not exactly the most idyllic place to find out you have AIDS, it’s kind of like going to a homeless shelter to find out if you got into college, but it was free, and who wants to pay to find out they have AIDS? I went first because I wanted to get it over with. There are two parts to the free AIDS test, the oral swab (which is the actual AIDS test,) and the verbal section which is basically a purity test minus the bragging rights for being impure. I scored medium to high risk on the verbal section, somewhere between Tila Tequila and an African monkey, but negative on the actual AIDS test, which is the part that counts. It was like my virginity had been restored. All of my sluttyness and IV drug use had been forgiven with one magical word: negative. “I don’t have AIDS, I don’t have AIDS,” I sang in my head as I walked out to meet my boyfriend and proudly display my printed test results. Next it was Mark’s turn. To kill the time while I was waiting to find out if my boyfriend was secretly getting spit roasted in the steam room at Crunch, I went to the Rite Aid next door to shop for greeting cards. I decided to buy two cards.

A congratulations card for if he passed, and a sympathy card in case he didn’t. I bought both cards and signed each of them. On the inside of the congratulations card I wrote, “Now we can do anal.” On the inside of the sympathy card I wrote “you didn’t get it from me!” When Mark came out of the counseling room and showed me his piece of paper, I handed him the congratulations card. Then, I pulled out the sympathy card and gave it to him too. “This was in case you didn’t pass,” I said. We got in the car and drove back to my place. That afternoon, AIDS free, Mark stuck it in my cornhole. ‘Cause what’s the fun of not having AIDS if you can’t do it up the butt?

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