Sunday, February 8, 2009

AIDS Test Separation

I got some STD tests for my visa. I've thought a lot about it. This should be the only thing left to say. I found my reaction to a question there at the clinic interesting and troubling. I was very angry with the way that I acted. Here's the setting:

I went in to pick up the results of said test, being fully confident that the results were in my favor. In fact, I had, in order to know if the results were in, listened to the phone service which reports one's results remotely. That seems like a terrible way to get HIV results, but I won't dwell on that...or at least won't spend time writing about the dwelling that's already occurred.

As it turns out, when you go in to receive your results in person, they have counselors who will break the news to you. I was assigned a counselor, and subsequently we were, as a pair assigned a room. It is in this room that he'll give me the results. Before he gives me the results which, as I stated, I already know, he double checks to make sure about the tests I've taken. The door is closed.

"So I've got you down for having taken HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphillis. Is that right?"

I answer, "Yeah, yeah, I needed the tests for a visa."

He proceeds to give me the results of the tests, all as expected. As I sit waiting for the notorized copies, I start to think about my experiences here. I realize that I said that very thing when the doctor asked me earlier during the actual exam. He asked why I was there for the test, and I immediately thought of the visa. Now, granted this is maybe the impetus behind me getting the test, there's more to it, I believe.

I think as I sat there in the office, I guess subconsciously I wanted to have something to seperate me from the others in the clinic. As I said, this wasn't conscious and it's very difficult even to wrap my head around right now. I realize now and would have then had I thought on this that I'm clearly no better than any one person in that clinic. I've made mistakes, and I've put myself in a couple of stupid positions. Luckily, those situations have been few and far between and I've been able to avoid any dramatic troubles, like any of the diseases in question.

I wonder where this sense of moral high ground comes from. I live my life to destroy and deconstruct my own assumptions about status, especially related to morality, and yet this was a seemingly internalized and almost unavoidable reaction to a universally uncomfortable situation.

I hope that through realizations such as this and an honest approach to dissecting them, I can continue to deconstruct this self-sense which comes from god-knows-where, and live a more accepting life, both inside and out, consciously and subconsciously.

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