Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: NYS Department of Health Free STD Clinic

I figured I should probably get an STD check.  Last June I had one done after I found out ManFriend was with someone else after he moved and thankfully, I was OK for the 3 tests they ran.  So it was just the matter of Mountain Man, Cop#1 and the one night stand to worry about.

Two weeks ago I discovered the NYS Department of Health's FREE clinic.  And since I am so broke, I figured I should go there, it would save me an office visit of about $70 plus all the lab tests, which I think when I got it done last year was about $100-200.  What is even better it is walk-in, so I didn't have to schedule an appointment.

When I got there, I had to fill out a form.  The form had your standard information, name, age, address, email, questions why you are there, etc.  Each form has a number on it.  When the nurse is ready for you, they call out the number, not your name.  I spoke with a nurse who asked about any symptoms, the number of men I was with in the last three months, total number of men, last date of period, if I used protection, etc.  I was then given a new number and asked to wait in the waiting area.

When the  new number was called, I was brought into an exam room with two nurses. They asked me a few questions about my history and told me the importance of using condoms.  They left while I removed my pants, panties, socks and shoes.  When they came back in, they first looked the skin all over my body for rashes or bumps or whatever else.  Then it was time for the vaginal exam, which almost the same procedure as the pap, with a little scraping of the insides and then a feel of the uterus.  They left to bring the dish down to the lab and peered through the microscope while I got redressed and waited in the room.  Within minutes, they came back and told me some results, others would not be ready for about 2 weeks.  I was then asked to return back to the waiting area.

My number was called again and this time I went to the lab where I had a vial of blood taken and a finger prick.  Then I headed back to the waiting room.

15 minutes later my number was called again and I went into another room with another nurse to review the HIV test.  She was more than happy to print out the results, and then she gave me a goodie bag of 26 condoms to get me started.

2 hours later I walked out of the clinic.

So, it was free....but it took 2 hours, and they weren't busy.  If there were more people there I can't imagine how long I would have been there.

The nurses were all so nice and made me feel comfortable.  The front desk and 'security' person were rude and nasty.

Now I have to wait about 2 weeks before I go back for the results of the remaining 4 tests.  Overall, I thought the state health department did a really great job; very through (way more through then my other STD tests).

The rest is on start enforcing condom use or perhaps refrain from sex all together.