Think STDs are a thing of the past? Maybe from a time when plagues ran rampant and people didn’t have clean water? Think again. In just the last few years, over two million cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia were reported. You may think STDs are uncommon because you rarely hear of people having them, but that’s because those who are affected tend to remain private about it. But it’s their silence that causes the dangerous misconception that most people are clean. Remember, you can’t tell someone has an STD just by looking at them. It really upsets me to hear how casually some of my single acquaintances treat STDs and getting tested. When it comes to not getting tested at all, I’ve heard every excuse in the book. I just hope those excuses can somehow magically affect their white blood cell count and blood work results. Here are silly reasons people give not to get tested.
I have a great immune system
That doesn’t matter. No immune system is strong enough to combat an STD. In fact, most STDs work by attacking the immune system. A sexually transmitted disease is not like the common cold—your body doesn’t just clear it on its own.
I’ve known the person for a while
Just because you’ve known a person for a long time before sleeping together doesn’t mean that that person is clean. What do you really know about this person’s sexual history? It may be the sweet, cute coworker who always makes you laugh but you don’t know how he spends his weekends. Even people you know well have sexual rendezvous you know nothing about.
I haven’t gotten anything up until now
Oh, so, whatever you’ve been doing must be working, huh? The fact that you haven’t contracted anything must have to do with your magical system and not pure luck, is that right? Nope! You’ve been lucky. Very lucky. But STDs don’t care about luck or how long you’ve managed to stay clean. If you encounter one, you’ll probably get it.
If I had something, I’d know it
That’s not necessarily true. Some STDs can live in your body for months without presenting symptoms. Meanwhile, you do carry the infectious cells, and could be passing them on. Not having symptoms is no reason to skip condoms, or not get tested.
If I have something, there’s nothing to be done
That is also not true. Almost every STD can be treated. Many can be cured. And the life-threatening ones can be managed. If you have an STD, discovering that and treating it could literally save your life (and the lives of others).
I’ve only been with a few people
You don’t get an STD by sleeping with 100 people. You get one by sleeping with one infected person. STDs don’t reward you for being conservative or mostly celibate.
The person looked clean
STDs don’t generally make a person develop acne or grimy skin. Someone who is riddled with infection can put himself together to look clean enough to lead a church sermon.
The person said they’d been tested
Unfortunately, a word is…nothing. It’s not a thing. It’s not a tangible item you can rely on. You need to see the paperwork.
The person just left a long relationship
Just because you’re sleeping with someone who just got out of a monogamous relationship doesn’t mean…their partner hadn’t cheated…this person didn’t cheat…or that this person hasn’t started sleeping around rapidly since his breakup three weeks ago.
We didn’t have intercourse
You can get STDs from vaginal intercourse, anal, and oral sex. End of story. You can get some just by rubbing your private areas up against each other, without penetration.
I’ve already had most STDs
Woah. Well, first off, that’s most unfortunate. But STDs are not something like the chicken pox that you only get once. You can get them over and over again.
I get tested once a year
That’s great…if you only have sex with one person who you can confirm with 110% certainty is clean and has sex with nobody else. STD test results aren’t something like the registration on your car: you don’t only need to renew them once a year.
Everything looks fine down there
Unless you are presenting herpes or warts right now, your genital area can look perfectly healthy even if you have an STD. You can shave, wax, and bedazzle the area—you can still have STDs.
I just had blood work done
Just because you recently had your annual physical and your blood work came back normal doesn’t mean you’re clean. You have to specifically request your doctor to run an STD test.
Nobody else gets tested
STDs aren’t concerned with what the masses are up to. If you, with your body, encounter one, you can contract it. It doesn’t matter that most of your friends don’t get tested, and they’re all (allegedly) clean. Are you all having orgies? Are those the people you’re sleeping with? Unlikely.