Russian To Conclusions

, , , , , | Healthy | December 7, 2020

I’m a college student who’s been accepted to a Russian study-abroad program. The next major step for me is to get a visa, which requires one unusual step: a negative HIV test. Russia has a major HIV issue, and one way they try to manage the spread is by restricting visas to people who test negative for it. So, I call my campus clinic to set up a free HIV screening test.

Receptionist: “Hello, this is [Campus Clinic]. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hello! I need to set up an appointment for an HIV test, please.”

Receptionist: “Oh, an STD panel? Sure, I can set you up for that.”

Me: “Sorry, no, just an HIV test.”

Receptionist: “Um…” *Sounding confused* “Okay, are you sure? You don’t want any other tests?”

Me: “Yes, just the HIV test, please.”

Receptionist: “All right…”

She sets me up for an appointment, sounding a little miffed throughout the rest of the exchange. I go in for my appointment the next day.

Doctor: “Good afternoon! So you’re here for an HIV test?”

Me: “Yes, that’s right. I do get a little dizzy sometimes when my blood gets drawn, though, just a heads-up.”

Doctor: “Ah, is that why you only wanted the one test? Because, you know, it’s a good idea to get a full STD panel.”

Me: “Hmm? Oh, no, I don’t need a full STD panel. I only need the HIV one.”

Doctor: “There are a lot of other diseases you’re at risk for when you’re sexually active. The responsible thing to do, if you’re worried you may have been exposed to something, is to get tested for everything.”

Me: “Oh, I’m not worried. I’m a virgin. I just want to go to Russia.”

Doctor: “What?”

I explained everything to the doctor and we had a bit of a laugh. And I got my visa!

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