Tips For Getting Tested For STI’s | Facebook Walk With Reid and Hunter Riley

by Reid on March 25, 2021

Tips For Getting Tested For STI’s | Facebook Walk With Reid and Hunter Riley






Reid: Hello Facebook it’s Reid Mihalko from and I’m here with Hunter Riley

Hunter: Yay!

Reid: from Self Serve toys and we are in New Mexico

Hunter: Albuquerque

Reid: Albuquerque, New Mexico and I just got I just got tested and Hunter came with me.

Hunter: I did.

Reid: You’re….you’re a good friend for taking me testing

Hunter: Well I do what I can.

Reid: Alright let’s move this way so we’re not

Hunter: Alright

Reid: putting people in the video. So as you are

Hunter: moving Facebook Live

Reid: joining us…here I’m just don’t wanna fall over that ledge…we’re gonna talk a little bit about tips for getting tested. So I’m in Albuquerque, where are you today? And I just got tested it had been about five months almost five months since my last STD test so if you want to share and you don’t have to, when was last time you got tested? And then last but not least is my microphone working today? Let me know like leave a comment and just…just let me know if you can hear me because this microphone is I think I dropped it and I have to res…I have to replace it because it’s being weird.

Hunter: Oh no.

Reid: So we’ll wait until somebody tells me if they can hear me. What uh what tips do you have Hunter?

Hunter: um so I think marking it on your calendar and even having a reminder set on your phone is a good idea ‘coz it’s easy to go a while and be like “Oh, when did I last get tested?” And really knowing for sure that like “Okay I went and got tested on you know July 4th or whatever.”

Reid: They can hear us.

Hunter: You wouldn’t get tested on July 4th ‘coz the offices probably wouldn’t be open but

Reid: Yeah

Hunter: marking it down and having a reminder set. I also like to go with friends to get tested because I think it helps us be accountable and then also you have somebody to talk to in the waiting room

Reid: Yeah

Hunter: if it takes a while

Reid: Yeah, especially if you get nervous I mean I get tested every three to four months usually just because I think it’s for me it’s good to always be telling people I’ve just got tested. I also sleep with a lot of people so I like kind of knowing on a regular basis what my status is so I can tell everybody and I had another thought but keep going.

Hunter: Okay so yeah so marking it down, going with friends and also you know finding…finding all the resources in your state or your city about which because there’s free testing locations, you can go you know to your doctor’s office, you can go to a gynecologists office and knowing which tests they will test you for

Reid: Yeah

Hunter: because there are some places for example I believe the Department of Health doesn’t test for certain things if you’re not showing symptoms, right?

Reid: Yeah

Hunter: So if you go to show up and you’re like “I’m gonna get tested” and they’re like “Ooh we don’t we don’t test for that.”

Reid: Yeah ‘coz you’re if you’re not having an active

Hunter: If you’re not having an active

Reid: An active herpes outbreak they won’t test for it

Hunter: They won’t test. Exactly so knowing which…which clinics will do what and having that information you know at least somewhat compiled somewhere so that you can either give that to a friend you come in to Self Serve we have these…these we have pamphlets, we have resource guides all about various testing locations across the state of New Mexico and we also have them available electronically so if you want you can always in…you can email us and we can send that resource guide to you.

Reid: I’ll put some links in the in the description for the has a little app thingy where you can go to the right page I’ll…I’ll put the link where you can drop in your zip code and it’ll tell you where the clinics are in your neighborhood in your area and it’ll tell you where the free clinics are.

Hunter: Yup

Reid: I’ll also put in a link for those of you who…you don’t want to go to a free clinic or you don’t want to go to a free clinic in your neighborhood because somebody might recognize you there’s also some paid services where you can get a full panel and always ask like what you’re getting tested for and then there’s also myLAB Box which does a home testing situation they were a sponsor for Sex Geek Summer Camp so hello myLAB Box people thanks for sponsoring camp. There’s a lot of different choices out there but if you’re not getting tested regularly or if you’ve never been tested it can be really scary and I still get nervous but it’s…it’s nervousness and I…I know I kind of know my way around a free clinic so it’s…it’s I get nervous but it still feels familiar which usually allows people to take more effective action and have more agency and courage but understand sometimes it’s good to go with your friends

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: because maybe you’re just having one of those fragile days and you do all the…the research to find out what times

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: they’re testing you get your butt there and then you’re waiting and you’re just thinking horrible thoughts about yourself or about life and diseases and so then you end up leaving

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: and you know if you can get to the clinic try to stay till the end

Hunter: Yeah and also showing up you know calling them ahead of time and saying “Hey, are you are you doing testing today? What’s the best time to come because I’ve tried to come here sometimes during lunch and there wasn’t enough time so we’ve I found out that coming here in the morning is really good.” So call them ahead of time and see what’s the…what’s the best time to show up so that you are most likely to be seen the fastest

Reid: Yeah and actually you can call them and ask like what’s the best tip or trick for forgetting in and out as quickly as possible. Funny story…would you have a funny testing story?

Hunter: I mean I like to get real nerdy with these folks and they are you know I….I like to…to sort of give them feedback and also say “Hey like maybe you could ask this question in a way that that is more inclusive of non-monogamous people” then and things like that and but really like the you know this is a public health service from you know the Department of Health for New Mexico so like they are doing a ton of work, they’re seeing a ton of people, they’re not getting paid enough, they’re not getting enough funding so also being really generous and like compassionate with these people because the work they do is incredible.

Reid: Yeah

Hunter: And we need this work so I mean you know giving feedback if…if you know the way they’re asking questions or the way they’re phrasing it but also being compassionate understanding because they’re doing so much work with not enough money so really I’m just like “Thank you for doing this work. I love you. Thank you so much.”

Reid: Yes. Send them some love if you can.

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: Other things just about asking for what you’re getting tested for you know the…the big ones when people say “Oh, I got tested for everything,” what most people think they mean is they get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and herpes one and two. Most places especially free clinics don’t have the funding to test for herpes one and two especially if you’re not having an outbreak.

Hunter: Right

Reid: So you know ask for what you’re getting tested for; you can also ask if they test for hepatitis

Hunter: HPV

Reid: HPV there’s not a currently an HPV test for penis owners and you can ask about Gardasil vaccinations and things like that.

Hunter: And I think there’s even a new Gardasil or new HPV vaccine so ask about that as well.

Reid: Yup you can also ask about prep and pap and emergency control contraceptive situations like take the opportunity to also educate yourself like read the pamphlets here

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: I was reading the ones on…on hepatitis C because I always forget like which ones do they have vaccinations for and which is one they don’t have a vaccination for? So there are vaccinations for A and B and sometimes they will vaccinate you for free.

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: And again like this is not opening up a discussion about your beliefs on vaccination. I believe in vaccination you can PM me you know privately if you want to you know have a conversation about why I think that that’s a good idea, everybody’s entitled to their beliefs and you know I have some…some beliefs around health and helping other people stay healthy that you might not agree with.

Hunter: Yup

Reid: Gardasil hepatitis trigonomous is it trich…trichino…

Hunter: I’ve always just called it trich because I can’t remember there’s still a word [Inaudible 00:07:45]

Reid: It’s a great scrabble word by the way you really kick ass on that if you know

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: how to call to spell trich.

Hunter: It’s T RI CH I think and there’s

Reid: And a bunch of other letters.

Hunter: All a bunch of other letters behind

Reid: lots of O’s and I’s great for scrabble. But you can ask what they’re being tested for, you can ask about things like scabies

Hunter: Yup

Reid: which is a is a duck mite it’s…it’s an on foul and I’ve had scabies before and I gave scabies to some of my lovers it basically produces a rash, you get some medication, and you can get rid of it and like people like don’t know to ask about scabies and it’s not that big of a deal, it’s not a life-or-death thing

Hunter: Right

Reid: it’s more of an inconvenience and understanding with free clinics. A lot of what they’re doing is treating things that cause serious…serious health problems which is why herpes is not tie on their list

Hunter: Yup

Reid: because that’s not normally a life-threatening kind of a thing. So just the more you get yourself educated, the more you practice going to the clinic the easier it gets over a lifetime then you get to be a role model for your friends and for your family in your community.

Hunter: And also yeah like…like Reid was saying check out the pamphlets, check out the posters ‘coz some like….like

Reid: Be a nerd, get nerdy

Hunter: Yeah be super nerdy because for example this clinic has a men’s night I think they’re actually starting to do a trans night too and they’re working with the Transgender Resource Center here in Albuquerque to shuttle folks who want to get tested here. So I mean there’s lots of resources and sometimes you just need to ask or just look around and see what sort of services they’re advertising because they do have specific nights that are just for us you know a…a certain demographic so that you can get seen faster, you can you know get very specific care, you can even maybe make some friends in the waiting room so they do have really awesome services that you can check out.

Reid: If you’re if you’re currently on a campus so you have friends that are students’ at campus usually testing is free it’s kind of included in new tuition maybe not at community colleges I don’t know

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: but you can speak a little bit UNM

Hunter: Yeah UNM does have STI testing for students. I don’t know if it’s free or not it’s been a while since I’ve been there because I haven’t been a student for a while but I know that they do offer STI testing.

Reid: Yeah go down to health services and….and ask somebody at health services like “Hey, what’s the story on testing and how do how do I get that? How do I bring it to my dorm?”

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: “How do I get my fraternity? You know can we can we get them all tested at my fraternity?” Like be proactive in helping other people get over their fears and get more tested more regularly that’s a really great thing that you can do for your friends and your communities.

Hunter: Yeah and especially for folks who are sleeping with a lot of people or who are non-monogamous they ask like…right yes like what can I do to reduce my risk you know this all sounds very like it can sound kind of scary if you have a partner who has a lot of partners and they have all these partners and it’s a big web of fuckery. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and to reduce your risk is to get tested on a regular basis so getting tested a couple different times a year that’s one of the best things you can do along with safer sex practices but yeah I mean we are talking about eliminating risk, we’re talking about reducing risk.

Reid: Yup

Hunter: Getting tested on a regular basis is one of the best ways to reduce that risk.

Reid: Harm reduction

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: Alright so stay healthy, stay healthy America, stay healthy internets.

Hunter: And also make sure that if you are talking about your results using words like positive and negative

Reid: Oh good yeah

Hunter: versus clean and dirty ‘coz a lot of us have STI’s, we will have STI’s throughout our life

Reid: I have herpes one.

Hunter: I do too and HPV so you know saying things like

Reid: good on you

Hunter: Yeah! Wooh! So saying things like “I have a positive test for HPV” versus “I’m clean” just because that can help be a little bit more compassionate and caring to folks who have STDs which will be most of us.

Reid: And last but not least like just because we’re kind of having fun and giving high-fives around testing positive for things we’re not…wear our sense of humor and our joy at being empowered. Please don’t mistake that for that we don’t think this is serious and that people have feels around this. What I’m trying to role model personally is like fear is and silence is what is what ends up hurting us the most over time so we can talk about difficult things and have fun and celebrate that we’re talking about difficult things it does get easier and you’ll still have you know bad days from…from you know every once in a while. When I tested positive for gonorrhea several years back like I was like “Oh my gosh!” But then there was a nerdy side of me that was like “This is really cool I’ve never had gonorrhea before.” And it wasn’t the…the antibiotic resistant strain so it wasn’t a big deal because I knew I figured out I had it because I got tested and then I got treated.

And most things these days can be treated they’re treatable.

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: And so it’s when you don’t know you have something and then you have it for several years that’s when things like syphilis really fucked your liver up so go get tested regularly please, please, please and if you need help or resources or just some cheerleading you can message me on Facebook or email me at Where can they find you Hunter?

Hunter: and if you want a whole list of fun things you can do that are low to no risk you know ways to bond with somebody, Reid is teaching a pegging class tonight.

Reid: Oh, tonight.

Hunter: Tonight so I mean there’s lots of things you can do if you’re feeling scared or nervous about STI transmission there are so many things that you can do that are really fun, hot, and sexy and intimacy building that don’t necessarily involve fluids and…and you know STI transmission

Reid: And risk yeah

Hunter: So there’s so build your list of what you can do in case someone is feeling a little bit gun-shy so we’re doing that class tonight but there’s so many other things sex toys are real fun and it’s really a great way

Reid: sex toys are great

Hunter: to be into with somebody and reduce your risks so

Reid: That’s right.

Hunter: Yeah.

Reid: Professional tools create professional results America.

Hunter: Yes

Reid: So go out there stay safe, stay safe internet and try to make the scary things as much fun and…and celebrate your courage and please share this video with…with people you think will benefit from it, post it in your groups and things like that and once again thanks for…for watching and one last time

Reid & Hunter:

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: and I’ll also post in the…the description a link for a full webinar that we’ve got going on Sunday about all kinds of relationship nerdery. Alright, I’ll check the comments later. Thanks everyone bye!

Hunter: Bye!

Reid:  Oh wait let’s give one more shot of the sign.

Hunter: Yeah

Reid: There we go from the Midtown Public Health right there ladies and gentlemen. Excellent bye!

Hunter: Bye!

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