What HIV Testing is Like When You’re Queer, Black and Undocumented

As written by Alan Pelaez Lopez. Originally published on Black Girl Dangerous.

“Last fall, I received a call from an old partner I had not spoken to in six-months. In the middle of debating whether to answer or not, I accidentally accepted the call and heard his voice. I went to get tested and I’m HIV positive, you need to get tested, he quietly explained. He sounded tired, filled with the kind of panic that comes after days of shock and denial. It was the same tone I remembered carrying in my voice one day in Boston as a glass bottle flew towards me—then shattering as it hit me—followed by an older White male calling me “illegal.” I heard his voice and I could not breathe. I was scared for him, for me, for life.

After the phone call, all I could think was: Can I even get tested?Growing up undocumented and queer on the East Coast meant only seeing a doctor when my temperature was over 104º or there were free clinic drives at local non-profits.”

Read the story in its entirety here.

In Alan’s article, he narrates the barriers that many people face when trying to access HIV testing.  Many organizations, clinics, and hospitals require a state or federal identification card to receive an HIV test. Each year, the AIDS Library publishes the HIV Testing Guide available here. For a listing of organizations included in our guide that do not require the use of an ID to get tested contact our Public Services and Reference Librarian, the editor of this blog, Megan Threats at mthreats@fight.org

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