You hear it all the time – in sex ed class, during your yearly trip to the doctor, and during every commercial break on MTV: always use a condom.
But I think we all know that sometimes you can get really caught up in the heat of the moment and you might, well, forget to put one on. Or think to yourself, “I’m clean (and on the Pill), he’s clean – we’re fine!”
I’m not proud, but I know I’ve had a few moments like that. And never did I ever think anything would happen to me.
Until recently. I went in for my yearly PAP at my campus health center, where testing for Chlamydia and Ghonorrhea is standard procedure. I didn’t think much of it, until I got a call a couple days later to come back in to discuss the results. I got a little nervous, but I definitely didn’t think they would tell me I have an STD.
The doctor came in and told me that I had tested positive for Chlamydia.
I was shocked. She reassured me it was totally treatable and curable with some antibiotics; as soon as those were done I’d be free and clear.
Free and clear of the disease, maybe, but not of the trauma. Or embarassment. I had to think back to anyone I may have gotten the STD from, or given it to. Then I had to call the guy I hooked up with to tell him. He was the only man I’d been with and he was less than thrilled with the news. I felt guilty, but quickly caught myself; this wasn’t all my fault. I mean, we were both there.
After talking with a close friend, I calmed down and realized I’m lucky that it was only that, and not something I’d have to live with for the rest of my life. But I feel like it is. I may not have symptoms, but the reminder will always be there.
I know sometimes it seems like nothing will ever happen to you, but it can. It’s so important to practice safe sex, and more than that, it is absolutely essential that you get checked and tested every year. PAPs are probably one of the most uncomfortable things we will deal with, but they can save your life and prevent the spread of STDs through your campus.