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September 2013

6
Sep

Putting The At Home HIV Test Kit To The Test

There has been a lot of talk about at-home testing lately. In fact, a few people who have been newly diagnosed as HIV positive have found out their initial result through an in-home test. Now, I have been tested several times, both for personal reasons and also because I seem to be the guinea pig whenever we have someone new who is learning the procedure, but I have never taken the at-home variety. I figured I would see what all the fuss is about and see how the process went.

 

Come along with me… won’t you?

Come along with me… won’t you?

First off, there are a couple different ways of acquiring the test. You can go into a pharmacy and request one (they are usually behind the counter) or buy one on the internet. The price is pretty comparable, so it’s really about preference or accessibility. Not everyone is going to have the ability to waltz into a gay-friendly pharmacy and feel empowered enough to purchase one.  Unfortunately, the Wal-Mart pharmacy in BFE rural Iowa miiiiiight not carry them. And even if they do, a lot of people in those communities might not be comfortable asking for one.

 

visit: www.oraquick.com for more information

visit: www.oraquick.com for more information

 

For purposes of this article, I went ahead and ordered a test online. It came in a discreet package and arrived within a couple days. I settled in and got to business. The plastic case it came in was very official and the instructions were pretty user-friendly. Granted, I test people for HIV as part of my job, but even if I had never done it before I feel that I would have been just fine. Luckily, it was an oral swab test (if you couldn’t already tell by the product name, OraQuick) so that user error is reduced. At the office, we poke people’s fingers and take a small drop of blood for our antibody test. That works great in a clinic setting, but I can’t imagine that the average person would be too thrilled to puncture their own finger. I mean, I would probably pass out if I had to.

Warning!

 The oral swab means it’s sanitary, safe, easy, and the lack of blood means that the risk of HIV-infected fluid isn’t present. And like I said, the instructions were easy to understand. But even though I “knew” my status going into this process (I had been tested very recently) it’s still a nerve-racking experience. As anyone who has gone to a doctor or clinic or AIDS organization for testing knows, even when you think you “know” it makes you sweat a little. So, being by myself during this process was a little intense. What if I messed up? What if I’m positive?

 

Instructions on how to read your test results.

The OraQuick company gives detailed instructions on what to do if your result is reactive, but how would it feel if you found out you were positive while you were home alone in your bathroom like me?

OraQuick provides a toll-free support hotline if you are to test positive.

I know I’m a little biased, but I think if I tested positive I would want someone with me. Someone who could explain the process and next steps to me. Someone who could hold my hand or give me a hug or be there if I needed anything. And while having access to an in-home test is beneficial for those who don’t have access to testing resources, face stigma in their community, or don’t have open-minded doctors, I feel that when given the option, I would rather get a test with a real human being. I know a lot of you have used in-home tests before and it might work well with your lifestyle and schedule. So share your thoughts and experiences, would you?

 

To schedule a free and confidential HIV and STD test, visit our “Get Tested” page on our website. 

13
Sep

Well-Hung Hung Ups

Oy sweeties, welcome to my first blog eva… Jewels from Jewetta, and I’m not talking about that pearl necklace around your neck either.  Ok, maybe I am.  That’ll be a topic for later discussion.

 

I thought loooonnnggg and hard about what I wanted my first blog to be about, and then it “donged” on me… PENISES!  They say talk about what you know and I’ve “known” (in the biblical sense) plenty of them.

 

Size2Why is it that a lot of guys, especially the gay ones, are hung up on the size of their tool?

 

Well, after hours of research at the local book stores, truck stops and Google, I have found this to be true… sometimes penis size matters and sometimes it doesn’t.  There are some who have unique personal tastes (affectionately known as size queens) while others, like myself, prefer a variety pack.  Let’s put it this way… some days I’m happy driving a Smart Car and then an Escalade the next.  

 

I know a lot of you boys get your penis complexes from watching porn, which to be quite honest, is a terrible way to learn about sex (except perhaps that it’s fun).  Male porn stars have larger penises and there are lighting and pubic hair styling tricks that make them look even bigga.  Remember, the camera adds ten pounds sweetie. 

 

Penis Size

Although most studies report that the average erect penis size ranges from 5-6.5 inches long, and about 5 inches in diameter, how many of us actually carry a measuring tape with us on a date?

 

You can’t always judge a book by its cover, and you can’t always judge the true size of a penis when it’s flaccid either.  I did that once and almost poked my eye out.  It was a pop-up book, if you get the picture (wink, wink – Thank God for my sunglasses!).  Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is that sometimes guys with relatively small flaccid penises grow to a larger size when erect, while some larger ones don’t grow much at all.  Hence the phrase, “a grower not a shower.”

 

You know, a study I would really like to see is one correlating the guys with above average sized penises and their chosen sexual positioning (top or bottom).  I think we all know that outcome of that study.

 

Recently, I watched a British documentary on the size of the male penis, and whether or not guys would talk about it.  This was obviously a straight video, but I learned a lot of valuable information. Here is the link and I encourage you to educate yourselves.  http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/my-penis-and-everyone-elses/

 

If there is a topic you’d like my pearls of wisdom on in the future, speak up. Until next time sweeties – stay sexy and stay safe – Muah!

 

9
Sep

First Images from 2014 Project HIM Calendar

Whatever You're Into

2013 Project HIM calendar cover girl, Shenatta Tweenk Belle loves her Twinkies.

Last year, when we released the 2013 Project HIM calendar, Whatever You’re Into…, we did not anticipate that it’s going to be popular. We still have people asking for it, and it’s already September! It may have something to do with the sexy photos by Billy Porter (and the hot guys in it!). We just wanted to spread the word about Project HIM, and our particular brand of “no guilt, no shame” approach to HIV prevention.

 

For the 2014 Project HIM calendar, we took inspirations from our childhood. We partnered with photographer Robert Whicker and graphic designer Jordan Selha to create fun and sexy pictures of local guys and drag performers posing as characters from fairy tales, folk lore, and other literary fictional characters.

 

Earlier today, a portion of the photographs from 2014 calendar were released through our multiple social media outlets. The calendar will be unveiled during the annual Black Party this fall. More information about the event will come soon. In the meantime, here are some of the photos from the 2014 Project HIM calendar.

 

James & Joe as "Hansel & Gretel".

James & Joe as “Hansel & Gretel”.

2013 Mr. Iowa Leather, Mark as the big bad wolf, and Marwan as Red.

2013 Mr. Iowa Leather, Mark as the big bad wolf, and Marwan as Red.

The fabulous Tyona Diamond in and out of drag as Mulan

The fabulous Tyona Diamond in and out of drag as Mulan.

The handsome Anthony as the emperor in The Emperor's New Clothes.

The handsome Anthony as the emperor in The Emperor’s New Clothes.

 

 

26
Sep

New Testing Hours Starting October 1st!

New Clinic Hours