About a month and a half ago, I wrote about testing positive for Chlamydia. It’s been hard on me ever since then to really come to terms with it. Sure, it was easy to get rid of (just a few pills) and I don’t have to relive it by telling every past or future partner that I have an STD, but the worst part for me is the stigma. It is a sad but true fact that I chose not to tell anyone close to me. Not even my friends. I was afraid of being judged. No matter what kind of STD you get, curable or not, there is a stigma that comes along with being a person who has one.
I know, I’ve been one to judge before.
But now that I’m here – someone who had an STD – I know that not everyone who gets infected by a sexually transmitted disease is promiscuous or slutty. Unfortunately, many STDs are results of bad decisions. I made one and trusted someone I should have known better than to trust.
I’m lucky that I don’t have to tell anyone about what I had, but in an effort to be honest with someone I was seeing, I told him. At first he seemed happy that I was honest with him, but things changed and I knew he saw me differently. He saw me for the mistake I made instead of the person he had spent so long getting to know and with that little piece of information, everything changed.
I learned a lot from this experience, and the thing I learned the most is not to judge someone. If someone trusts you enough to share something about their life like that, don’t let that change the way you look at them. It is more than likely that he or she made one bad decision – one that you may have made many times with no repercussions – and are now living with the unfortunate results.
The other big lesson I’m taking from this is, of course, to be safe. Trust no one. Most people don’t even know they have something, so think twice before you let your libido make your decisions for you. An hour of fun is not worth a lifetime of regret.
[Photo courtesy of Amvollmar on Flickr.]