A Guide For the Naïve Homosexual
page 16
V.D. Clinic

V.D. Clinic

I have been to the V.D. Clinic myself, but I turned out to be free op the diseases. You walk into the waiting room and then go up to the receptionist where she gives you a form asking your name and birth date. Fill in the form and return it to the clerk. She then gives you a slip of paper with a number on it that matches the one on the form she keeps. Then you wait in line for your number to be called.

A staff member calls you in and takes a blood sample for a VDRL (syphilis test). He leads you into a corridor with about 5 little offices off one side of it. You go into one of them and he asks you to lower your drawers so I can have a look. If you think you have gonorrhea he will take some of the pus from your throat, anus or penis and will stain it with a gramme stain. He then looks at it under the microscope. If he sees anything remotely resembling gonorrhea germs he will treat you. If there is no pus he will take a throat culture, an anal culture (by inserting a funnel lubricated with KY into your anus and whisking a cotton swab around to collect some germs), or a urethral culture (by swishing a swab around about 1/8 inch into your penis). If your gonorrhea test is positive then they will phone you and ask you to come down to be treated. If you are O.K. They won’t bother to phone.

 The treatment for gonorrhea is very simple — you take two 500 mg. Capsules of ampicillin (a type of penicillin) one at the clinic and one 8 hours later. They do not scrape out your penis with knives or little umbrella things or in any way torture you. If you are allergic to penicillin then you can take tetracycline for four days or erythromycin for four days. It is very important to take all the pills given you. Do nut allow anyone else to eat one of your ampicillin capsules as he may have an allergy he does not know about that will cause the throat to constrict causing suffocation. At the clinics they have adrenalin in hypodermics ready in case this should happen. After taking your first pill, you walk out the other side into another corridor and then outside.

There is a 2% chance that the cure will not work and you will still have gonorrhea. You have to go back and they will try another drug. No strain of gonorrhea (even the ones from Viet Nam) is incurable, though some are resistant to the standard treatment.

Should your test turn out positive (they may have already given you the cure even before they were sure you had the disease), it is up to you to rapidly inform all your contacts if you did not give their names to the doctor. Tell them to get down for a check pronto — before the damn thing spreads to the whole gay population. It is also tour responsibility to stay away from anyone until the doctor says it is O.K. — usually about a week. If you don’t you will get one hell of a reputation and you will be blackballed where ever you go across Canada. No one will blackball you for having the diseases, but they will get pretty uptight if you don’t let them know about it.

If the doctor thinks you have V.D., he will ask you for your contacts. He will not bother otherwise. If you wish, tell him I promise I will inform them myself. Don’t make up a story about Gloria whom you met at a hippy party. The clinic will send people out scouring 4th avenue looking for this fictitious Gloria. If you tell the doctor the names and addresses of your contacts he will not release the information to anyone. Theoretically the courts can subpoena the information in criminal cases, but even this has not been done in the past six years. The doctor will phone up your contacts. After a number of fruitless attempts at personal contact he will leave a message Please have him call John Doe at 874-2331. he will make no mention of V.D.

If you were so silly as to sleep with someone without finding out his name and address, then tell them everything you know about him his first name, age, appearance — anything. He will be infecting other people as well and these people may remember a bit more about him. Eventually the clinic can piece together who he is and call him in for treatment. Such slight information as I met him at the Taurus spa at 10:30 Tuesday night will be enough to go on. The clinic will phone up the owner of the steam bath and ask him to send everyone who was in the building at the time, down for a check. The owner will let those possible contacts know when they come to the baths again.

They can be very devious. For example if you are a married gay and you have infected your wife, they will ask you the name of your wife’s physician so they can ask him to make an appointment for your wife to have a pap smear (cancer test). During the appointment, her doctor will give her some ampicillin to cure up a minor infection and your wife is cured without her finding out she ever had V.D. 

The people who run the clinic are a bunch of good heads. A while ago there was a syphilis scare in our group. They kept the clinic open an extra hour late so we could get in after work. They served coffee and doughnuts for us. The people at the clinic spent in all about 8 hours helping me write this section. They only want to stop epidemics — they do not pry into your sex life just out of prurient curiosity.

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