My first experience with STD testing wasn’t the most pleasant. In fact, it went so “well” that I didn’t even go through with it. I went to my primary care physician for my yearly physical before moving out of state. It was just a normal overall checkup, and he asked if anything was bothering me. I felt completely healthy but was curious about STDs. At that point I had had multiple partners, and wanted to see if a routine test could be done. The second the doctor began to respond, I was knee deep in regret just for asking. I felt interrogated, ashamed and humiliated. He asked if there was a specific test I wanted done. I shrugged my shoulders because, to be honest, I had no idea what options there were. I tried to explain that it was all a foreign language to me, so he followed up by asking if I was having any symptoms. I told him “No” and his response was “Well, then why get tested?” Needless to say, I left my appointment without getting tested. Fast forward about 7 years and a handful of new partners later. The curiosity never left, I just chose not to ask again due to the previous experience. Someone had mentioned a cold sore being a form of Herpes and even though I’ve never had one, I was bothered because I was so uninformed. I decided to look up “STDs” and do a little research. I remember as a young child my father getting cold sores/fever blisters and naturally as children, we ate and drank from the same plates and cups as our parents, so I figured I put myself at risk for that one. I was previously unaware that herpes could be spread that way.
A short time ago the curiosity hit again. This time I began to think about how I had or was having unprotected sex. Not only that, I wasn’t sure of the sexual history of each of my partners. I decided to do it. This time, though, I went a different route. I called a private testing service from a website. The process was extremely easy and stress free. I didn’t feel interrogated and simply gave my reason for testing. That same day, I went to the lab, signed in, and waited for my name to be called. It was a very professional environment, quiet and pretty straightforward. The phlebotomist (lab technician) was friendly and knew what she was doing. The test consisted of a quick blood and urine sample and I was in and out of the lab in about 20 minutes. They told me that if I did test positive not to worry because they could call in a prescription for me, so that helped calm me a little bit. I didn’t have any reason to believe I would test positive for anything but just thinking I would have to wait a while for my results started to make me a bit anxious. Thankfully though, results were back within the 1-3 business day period so…soon enough, I was completely relieved! I wasn’t just happy that my results came back negative (believe me though…I was!)…I was also VERY relieved that the process itself was as simple, professional, quick and as confidential as it was! It definitely helped erase any bad memories of my original encounter with Dr. Downer.
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