It’s 12:59 and I’m sat in the waiting room at the GUM (Sexual Health) clinic for my six-monthly check up. Thing is this isn’t just any GUM clinic however, this is the clinic that I was given my HIV diagnosis at nearly a year and a half ago. I haven’t been back since, until today.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been getting checked out every six months (not that I’ve had any sex worth a damn to really warrant it), but I’ve made a point of going to other clinics to avoid having to come back here. But today, the day I’d set aside to do some Christmas shopping and get my end of year STI tests done, this was the only clinic that had free slots.

The waiting room is the same as it ever was, grey and clean, clinically clean – the same bleach smell is stinging my nose, just as it did at 9:00am on the 4th August 2011. Repeats of Top Gear are playing on the TV. The memories of being sat out here nervously awaiting to be called into that small room are coming flooding back. The same feeling of anxiety is sweeping over me – but this time for no real reason, I’m only here for a general check-up.


Calm down Sam. Calm down. 


14:54 nearly two hours later and I’m done. 75% of that was sat around in the waiting room, apparently they were working very unstaffed today. That couldn’t be helped.

I’ve been prodded, up top, down below and round the back. I’ve had blood and urine taken, such fun. Almost knee’d the poor nurse in the face as she did the penile swab – NOT FUN.

I’ll get results via text message in a week, not expecting anything out of the ordinary, I mean I’ve barely had any sex at all for months now. MONTHS. But better to be safe than sorry as they say. I was so glad to get out of there though, I just don’t like what time period of my life that clinic waiting room represents.  No comment on the staff at all though, lovely people.


When were you last tested? Was it too long ago? Maybe you should make it a new year’s resolution? After all – what’s a little time out of your day for peace of mind?

Here’s to peace of mind, or what little mind I’ve got left!




  1. Thanks for your blog Sam and for your openness and frankness on the still slightly taboo subject of HIV. I love reading your posts. I have been HIV poz for about 5 or 6 years now and with the meds I am on, am undetectable and have never felt better, healthier and stronger.

    And the sex I am having has never been better. I have met a couple of other poz guys and after discussing our respective situations we are able to enjoy each other and have mind blowing sex. So please don’t hold back. Sexual connection is such a vital part of life, especially for a young guy like yourself.

    And if you discuss your situation with neg guys, I am finding more and more are receptive to safe sex anyway. I live in Sydney and I am sure it would be the same in the UK.

    If you want to chat more about this, email me at Would love to share ideas. I wrote a short book on my experience discovering I was poz and want to publish it some time soon.

    Here’s to a merry christmas and a super successful, happy and sexually fulfilling 2013 for you.

    All the best xoxo



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