I Went and Got Tested

After reading about one CollegeCandy writer’s scary STD experience, I realized that I had not been tested in over 4 years. Before I was having actual sex. It’s not like I never thought about it; it’s just that I never considered myself someone who needed to be tested. Doesn’t make much sense when I say it out loud, but in my head I kept thinking of my former, not sexually active, self, and never thought that I was at risk.

But last week I called my doctor and made an appointment. And every day for the past 7, I have picked up the phone to call my doctor back and cancel. What if I have something? What if I have something serious? What do I do? Do I call all of my previous partners? I mean, it’s been 4 years! Who knows where I got something from and who I passed it onto. And, as embarassing as this is to say, there is one partner in particular in there whose name I do not even know…

But I did not cancel. I acted like the adult that I am and I went to my gyno to get tested.

When I went into the office a nurse took me to my room and asked me why I was there. As I walked past older women, moms and very pregnant women, I was embarassed. “I’m here to get an STD test.” She took my blood pressure (which was higher than normal), made me pee in a cup, told me to undress from the waist down, and left the room. Because getting tested for STDs wasn’t enough – I also had to show my very unkempt bikini line to the doc and her assistant.

My doctor came in. “Is there a specific reason you think you need to get tested?” I explained how I read a very scary article (on a very fabulous website!). She looked impressed. And then she got down to business.

“How many sexual partners have you had?”

“Um. 7.” I waited for her to pass judgement.

“Great! Insurance companies do not cover STD testing for anyone who has had less than 5 partners, so good work on those last two.”

Yes, that was an actual conversation. Apparently insurance companies reward the promiscuous; financially, it does not make sense for them to cover all STD testing because they think women with less than 5 partners have a lower chance of being infected. I know I’m just a college student, but doesn’t it take just one partner to get something? Perhaps this is why STDs are spreading so much? Just a thought…

Anyways, the doctor had to go downtown to take some swabs for HPV and gonorrhea, then she took blood for the rest: HIV, syphillis, chlamydia, etc. She asked me if I wanted to get tested for Herpes, explaining that 1 in 4 people have it and the test would not differentiate between genital (and more serious) Herpes, or just a canker sore in my mouth.

“Yes!” I thought to myself. “She’s giving me an out from finding out if I have Herpes!” But I did not let my wussy side take over. I need to know everything. How would I feel if someone passed something onto me that they very well could have prevented?

At the end of my appointment my doctor told me that she thinks I am all clean before she handed me a lollipop (yes, for real). My results will be in on Friday and I am freaking out. But at the same time I feel really good about going. This is something that I needed to do and something that we all need to do. There is a reason STDs affect so many people and it’s because people are spreading them unknowingly.

Knowing is scary, but as sexually active adults, it is our responsibility to know.

Love It or Hate It: Leopard (Rarrr)
Love It or Hate It: Leopard (Rarrr)
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