Nervous To Get Tested
I was really nervous to get tested. I’m not sure why. I guess there was a fear of finding out I contracted something. The unknown of what would happen next scared me. Who would I have to tell? What does treatment look like? What if it was something that couldn’t be cured like Herpes or HIV? My friend was talking about their experience getting tested and asking me when I was last tested. I told them it had been over a year since I was tested for STIs. They were shocked but not in a judgmental way, more of a concerned way. We got into a discussion about how often people should get tested and why it’s important. I told my friend that I use condoms, so I didn’t think it was an issue. They asked me if that included oral sex and when I said, “no” they reminded me that I can contract an STI through oral sex as well.
We kept talking about stigma and sexual health. I don’t remember learning much about sexual practices in school. I remember they separated the boys and girls in maybe elementary school, and we talked about periods and puberty. I don’t remember in-depth conversations about safe sex practices, getting tested, or STIs. After talking with my friend, I realized there was a lot of information I didn’t know. I’m 29, so it’s kind of disheartening.
I talked to my doctor about getting tested. I am still nervous about getting tested, I’ll admit. Going to the doctor for anything is a scary experience for me, and I really hate needles. My doctor talked to me about my options, and I got more information about STIs. I want to make sure I get tested for everything when I have my appointment. I’d like to get tested by the end of the summer, and after that, I will do it every few months. That is a goal I’m setting for myself. My friend also suggested getting tested with new partners, and I think that’s a great idea too. Having these conversations with friends and sexual partners allows me to be in control of my sexual health!